EFry is a strong supporter of gender-specific shelters. While a third of the visible homeless are reported as women, female-only shelters are relatively rare. With co-ed shelters, and the personal security concerns that come with them, increasingly the norm, EFry believes there is a need to recognize and address those concerns so women do not opt to remain with a violent partner, trade sex for a place to sleep, or stay on the street.
We believe shelter safety issues can be addressed in large part through good design, solid organizational policies and procedures, and staff training. In November 2011, we hosted Canada’s first-ever Symposium on Effective Shelter Design to Promote the Safety of Women and Families. The Symposium brought together experts from every aspect of shelter design and operation to explore the issues and collaborate on the development of best practices in creating and operating shelter spaces for women and their children.
Bridging the Divide: Building Safe Shelters for Women and Families in BC, discussed the need for gender responsive shelters and details the Symposium’s findings and recommendations for government, architects and developers, and shelter providers, was released in March 2012.
Download the report now ( PDF 2MB) »