Providence House, the YWCA’s new rental housing location, has opened its doors and will soon welcome 24 single women escaping difficult circumstances.

Ashley Jellema, manager of housing and supports with the YWCA of Calgary, says the building will provide stability to women who have experienced chronic homelessness and multiple barriers to sustainable housing.

“Women’s homelessness is one the highest growing rates of homelessness in the city and also one that is hidden,” explained Jellema. “Women will couch surf, women will trade sex for a place to stay and often stay in abusive relationships as a means of not becoming homeless.”

“This space offers them the opportunity to get out of those situations and have a place of their own, a home to call their own.”

Tenants selected to live at Providence House are permitted to stay indefinitely and the YWCA will provide intensive case management, counselling, addiction support and activities designed to promote social and recreational inclusion. Support will be available around the clock, seven days a week.

“This space offers them the opportunity to get out of those situations and have a place of their own, a home to call their own,” said Jellema. “It really provides a sense of pride and ownership to the women that we work with.”

The multi-floor building includes private rooms, common areas and a community kirchen. The tenants are tentatively scheduled to arrive at Providence House in the next few weeks.

Providence House is located within Calgary but its specific location is not being disclosed in order to protect the safety of its residents