About Ernestine’s

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About Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter was opened in 1983 by a group of community members who saw a need for a safe place for women and children fleeing violence. Since that time, we have supported over 4,500 women and 5,000 child and youth clients.

The founders were pleased to name the shelter after Ernestine van Marle, a local community activist who gave them support and guidance as they began the shelter, and continued to support the shelter’s efforts in ending violence against women and children until her passing in 2006. Ernestine embodied all the characteristics that our shelter aspires toward: energetic, community minded, supportive, and dedicated.

Our Mission: Why We Exist

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, an organization run by women, provides support and shelter for women and children escaping violence.

Ernestine’s assists women and their children in rebuilding their lives by providing crisis intervention and a range of holistic support services, while acknowledging the multitude of issues facing survivors of abuse.

Ernestine’s adapts its services to honour diversity and the unique needs of the individual.

Ernestine’s promotes awareness, education and advocates for early intervention and prevention.

Our Guiding Principles

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter recognizes the impact of violence on children and acknowledges that the rights of children are separate and distinct from their parents.

Ernestine’s recognizes each woman’s right to self-determination.

Ernestine’s acknowledges that violence can be physical, emotional, psychological and sexual.

Ernestine’s is managed by an Executive Director and is a participatory organization accountable to our Board of Directors and Stakeholders.

Ernestine’s operates from a feminist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive framework.

An Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Framework is:

A perspective that confronts all aspects of injustice and inequality within society’s institutions, structures, systems and practices, and is intended to understand and eradicate racism and oppression in all of its forms.

At Ernestine’s, we strive to provide accessible, appropriate, and relevant services to children, youth, and women within an anti-racism anti-oppression framework.


Strategic Priorities


We develop community partnerships with agencies and grassroots groups to enhance our excellent service delivery to women, youth and children. These strong partnerships will support community engagement and diversifying funding opportunities.


We develop and deliver, alongside our stakeholders, multi-platform education about gender-based violence. We will continue to use an anti-racism and anti-oppression framework for this education.

Financial Sustainability

We build a long-term sustainable funding model that supports Ernestine’s to deliver valuable services for women, youth and children impacted by violence.


Charitable Number: 10167 8969 RR0001

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