Shelter FAQs

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What to expect at Ernestine’s

Upon arrival you will be welcomed:

  • Into a large building were many families live
  • You will be asked to put your belongings into the dryer as part of our bed bug policy
  • You will be provided with food, linens, and towels
  • You will be shown to your private room that has a bed, dresser, closet space and phone
  • You will be introduced to your primary counsellor
  • You and your child/ren will receive support during this difficult transition
  • You will be able to take a minute and breathe

Throughout your stay you will have:

  • Your own private room
  • Access to  interpretive services
  •  Access to culturally specific food
  •  Access to a counsellor 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • The opportunity to tell us your story and we will listen
  • You will be able to identify your immediate needs and goals
  • Support to register your child in school or daycare
  • Support to apply for housing
  • Information about your legal and housing rights
  •  Support to apply for custody
  • A range of culturally appropriate programming
  • Appropriate referrals to community  agencies
  • TTY, elevator and some automatic door openers
  • The ability to participate in groups held at the shelter (client meetings, skill exchange meetings and women’s support group)
  • A  clean environment
  • Outside playground
  • Communal living environment where you will be requested to participate in chores
  • A cook that prepares dinner meals
  • Laundry facilities

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can come to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter?

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Any woman and her children who are being abused can come to Ernestine’s.  If you live close to the shelter you will be assisted to find another shelter.

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2. Can I bring my 15 year old son?

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Yes, you can. Ernestine’s permits male youth up to 18 years old to come with their mother.

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3. What does it cost to stay at Ernestine’s?

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There is no charge for staying at Ernestine’s.

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4. How do women and children get to Ernestine’s?

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Some women come through referrals from the police or a hospital. Others search for information on the internet, or call our emergency phone line. Some women learn about Ernestine’s through a friend or relative who knows about our services. If a woman calls Ernestine’s and there is a space available our staff assists her in making a plan to get safety to the shelter.

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5. What if Ernestine’s has no space?

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The Counsellor will support you in finding other shelters that may have space.

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6. How long can I stay?

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Your length of stay will be determined by your individual needs.

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7. Can I bring my pets?

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Animals are not allowed to stay in the shelter unless it is a registered service animal but Ernestine’s, together with Safe Pet, will find a caring place for your pet to stay. Your pet will be taken care of and cared for by volunteers.

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8. I currently have a live-in support person, I can’t leave my abusive situation unless she can come with me?

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Yes, your support person will be able to accompany you and stay at Ernestine’s.

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