Crossroads Resource Centre and Women's Shelter | Fairview, AB
For people who need shelter or support after experiencing family violence, Crossroads Resource Centre and Women’s Shelter in Fairview is a life saver. Their services, resources and assistance are a lifeline for women in crisis who have nowhere else to turn.
“I am resilient. I see how strong I am, and I’m learning a lot about myself. I always used to put myself on the backburner, but now I’m putting myself front and centre,” said a former client of Crossroads. “I’m being kinder to myself. I’m seeing people in the community, and I’m not isolated anymore. I have a warm feeling in my chest. Before I couldn’t do it.”
Established 37 years ago, Crossroads is an organization that works to end family violence.
The 20-bed, short-term emergency shelter supports women, children and their pets by helping them heal from their trauma and rebuild their lives.
“Crossroads lives and breathes its values of respect, compassion, integrity and to honour dignity,” said Bradley Good, Community Services Manager for Crossroads. “From the board through to the front-line staff, you will see a group of passionate, empathetic and dedicated individuals who are professional, experienced and highly skilled.”
No stranger to innovation, the Crossroads team started a social enterprise in 2015: the New to You Market—the local thrift store providing quality, affordable items to clients and the community. And more recently, they launched the Safe Pet Program because multiple clients and helpline callers were sharing concerns for their pets.
“Crossroads is an organization that aims to remove barriers to accessing services, so the Safe Pet Program was created,” said Good. “In fact, 47% of domestic violence victims have delayed leaving their abusers out of fear of harm to their pets. There is now a dedicated on-site pet kennel facility, and within the last year, the program has served 38 animals.”
For individuals who have experienced family violence but do not require shelter, Crossroads’ Community Support Team is there to provide ongoing tailored service. They also do presentations for local schools, businesses and organizations in the wider community to spread information and awareness.
Connie Heck has been working with Crossroads for the past eight years, first as a Crisis Intervention Worker and now as a Community Support Worker.
“I enjoy working here because we are a compassionate team that supports each other and works toward positive outcomes for our clients,” said Heck. “To see the transformation in the women and their children along their journey as they heal, rebuild, and reach for their goals is inspiring and heartfelt.”
Heck enjoys working with people in her community and supporting them where they need it.
“I have appreciated the opportunity to support people where they’re at,” said Heck. “It can be helping them set up a new and safe home, gain food security, education and life skills, supporting children, preventing homelessness, accessing mental health and addictions supports or generally advocating for them.”
For Good, the Crossroads team is instrumental in helping clients succeed and overcome the hardships they are facing.
“Our team collaborates, innovates and works diligently to support our clients,” said Good. “Our team members bring hope and value to an individual, helping them to recognize their strengths and resilience. I cannot speak more highly of our staff and the phenomenal work they do.”
According to Good, Crossroads is more than a shelter. Anyone can access their services. Importantly, conversations are kept confidential and staff members are non-judgemental.
“If someone is concerned their friend or family member is in an unhealthy relationship, and they don’t know what to do, contact Crossroads. We can help,” said Good. “If a person is concerned for their safety at home but does not want to leave, contact Crossroads. We can help. If a person does not wish to leave an abusive relationship but wants support, contact Crossroads. We can help. If an employer wants to learn how they can support an employee who may be experiencing family violence, contact Crossroads. We can help.”
Crossroads is available 24/7 through their women shelter and their helpline for anyone needing immediate support. The helpline team is trained in suicide intervention and helping people in crisis. They have a vast array of information and resources to share.
Crossroads acknowledges support from the community at large for helping them provide relief for those who need to access help.
“Businesses and organizations have taken part in awareness campaigns, sponsored and attended our events, provided free services to our clients, donated goods and funds for programming and donated to the Natalie Elliott Memorial Fund, which supports women and children starting a new and safe life when leaving the shelter,” said Good.
Crossroads’ staff understand the difficult challenges a person faces when trying to leave an unsafe situation. Crossroads Resource Centre and Women’s Shelter is a safe place that offers the support and encouragement needed to succeed.
“Nobody can push me down ever again, in any way. I am a strong and independent woman. I am setting boundaries for other people,” said a former Crossroads client. “I am choosing the people in my life. I’m not that scared little girl anymore. No one has control over me anymore.”
For more information call 780-835-5550
24/7 Toll-Free Helpline: 1-877-835-2120 | crcws.com