ACWS study reveals positive impacts of women’s shelters

By Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

(ANNews) – On February 24, 2021 the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) released the findings of Project Impact.

In association with Dialogues in Action, ACWS launched the project in early 2020 to research the outcomes and changes clients experience while in domestic violence shelter programs across the province.

“The goal was to provide a clearer picture of the changes that begin to occur when survivors access shelter services,” said ACWS in a press release. “And as today’s showcase demonstrates, the findings that the ACWS members discovered through Project Impact show highly promising results.”

The models and methods developed by Dr. Steve Patty and Dialogues in Action are grounded in social science. says Dr. Patty about the program.

Twenty-one of the ACWS’s member shelters participated in the pilot project and formed evaluation frameworks, participated in workshops, collected data through interviews and surveys, and analyzed their findings with training and support.

Kingdom, Program Manager at WINGS, an Edmonton-based shelter that participated in the project, said, “We were truly taken aback by what we found. Women were impacted in a transformational way by being here.”

“They regained the ability to trust, and they were able to connect with what the program at WINGS provides and with other women at WINGS who relate to their story. Something wonderful is happening. After coming to WINGS, they saw things differently. They had hope.”

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