Frequently Asked Questions

When will the new shelter open?

Construction is substantially complete. We are moving in furniture and training our staff with plans to open in February 2020.

Where can women and children in the North York area go to get help while you are closed for construction?

Women in danger should contact emergency services immediately by calling 9-1-1.

Women looking for support in addressing abuse or violence, can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 416-863-0511 or 1-866-863-0511.

Women looking for shelter, can call the City of Toronto Central Intake at 416-397-5637.

A list of shelters is available at: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/housing-shelter/homeless-help/#shelters

Are there any programs operating while NYWS is being rebuilt?

Yes, our Trauma Mental Health programming continues to run. This program includes group counselling, one to one counselling, and expressive arts groups.

During the shut-down, we are carefully evaluating our existing programs based on our needs assessment to ensure when we re-open we are offering the best evidence-based, trauma-informed programs and services designed to meet the needs of our diverse group of clients.

What happened to the women and children who were staying at the old shelter?

The women and children who were living at NYWS were moved to other shelters or found permanent housing. The beds from NYWS have been disbursed into the Toronto anti-violence against women shelter system so the number of beds for women and children fleeing violence in Toronto was not reduced.

What happened to the crisis line?

The crisis line is still available but all calls are re-directed to other community resources such as the Assaulted Women’s Helpline.

What happened to the staff while the shelter is shut down?

The front-line staff are currently on layoff and will be recalled when the shelter re-opens.

What are the features of the new shelter?

Our new, highly secure emergency residence will have 17 bedrooms – each with a private, accessible bathroom – and will provide shelter and refuge for up to 40 women, children and their pets –  increasing our capacity by 30%. Given that women living with disabilities are at even higher risk for intimate partner violence,  40% of our units are completely barrier free and accessible.

The secure, outdoor living space is intentionally designed to be stimulating yet peaceful, therapeutic, nurturing, and to the meet the needs of diverse populations. This will be a secure, accessible, uplifting, beautiful gathering place with trees, gardens and an abundance of greenery and various seated areas. We have multiple areas designed in our large outdoor space, such as vegetable gardens to give residents the opportunities to teach and learn about food security, areas to grow medicines for indigenous women and children, an outdoor oven for women to bake traditional breads and natural play areas where children can climb and explore.

What are the features of the new, community services building?

In our fully accessible community services building we will offer violence-prevention programming and trauma-specific care and service to both the residents of our shelter and to women and children impacted by violence living in the community.

The building will be home to a trauma-informed primary care clinic, mental health counselling rooms, immigration, legal and financial counselling. In the 1,000 sq foot multi-purpose room women and children  impacted by violence can come together and connect by participating in our programs and by organizing their own.

How is this project funded?

The total cost of the project is $12 million. The federal and provincial governments have invested $9 million to fund design and the majority of construction costs. The government funding is contingent on the community contributing $1 million towards hard construction cost and $1 million to finish (e.g. paint, carpet, tiles, trees, gardens) and furnish the centre (e.g. beds, couches, dining tables, kitchen equipment, plates). The remaining $1 million community contribution will fund new programs and services (e.g. mental health counselling) that are not funded by government. Our capital campaign to raise the remaining funds is called the HER Campaign and you can find more information on it HERE