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?
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.
2. Can I bring my 15 year old son?
Yes, you can. Ernestine’s permits male youth up to 18 years old to come with their mother.
3. What does it cost to stay at Ernestine’s?
There is no charge for staying at Ernestine’s.
4. How do women and children get to Ernestine’s?
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.
5. What if Ernestine’s has no space?
The Counsellor will support you in finding other shelters that may have space.
6. How long can I stay?
Your length of stay will be determined by your individual needs.
7. Can I bring my pets?
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.
8. I currently have a live-in support person, I can’t leave my abusive situation unless she can come with me?
Yes, your support person will be able to accompany you and stay at Ernestine’s.