Working together with the YWCA

The Winter Emergency Response (WER) program is a temporary shelter program offered in a portion of the YWCA’S gymnasium.

The WER program first opened in 2012, in collaboration with the Calgary Homeless Foundation, to offer homeless women a warm, safe place to sleep during the coldest months of the year when shelters are at capacity. It runs from November 1 to April 30 each year. Women have access to shower facilities, basic health and hygiene and are provided with a meal and a safe place to sleep. In order to provide these services, the YWCA sought additional community support to meet the care and referral needs of women in the program.

This year the program supported nearly 7,300 bed nights during that period; the average length of stay was 12 nights; and of the 658 women who stayed at WERP, 77 of them spent more than 30 nights with the YWCA.

This past winter, Calgary Meals on Wheels partnered with the YWCA to support this program. The YWCA received sandwiches, fruits, and yogurt from Calgary Meals on Wheels, 7 days/week for 6 months to feed approximately 50 women each day. In addition to the WER program, the YWCA occasionally orders meals from our Group Meal Program for some of their transitional housing residents.

We at Calgary Meals on Wheels are dedicated to the building of a stronger community and helping all those in need of our services. We are very glad to have been part of this program helping these women, and we are excited to see how this partnership may grow in the future.