VANCOUVER, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - On November 15, 2011, the Elizabeth Fry
Society of Greater Vancouver (EFry) will host a Symposium on Effective
Shelter Design to Promote the Safety of Women and Families at
Vancouver's Morris J. Wosk Centre from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The first
Canadian event of its kind, the Symposium will bring together experts
from every aspect of shelter design and operation to explore the issues
and work towards the development of concrete, cost-effective solutions.
"Women and children make up a growing portion of our homeless
population," says Shawn Bayes, EFry's executive director.
"Unfortunately, their safety needs are often not met in co-ed shelters,
and as a result, women may decline shelter services even when they
desperately need somewhere to go."
EFry operates three emergency shelters for women and children in the
Lower Mainland and is a strong proponent of gender-specific shelters.
Despite growing numbers of female homeless, men still make up the bulk
of the homeless population. For cost reasons, shelters are often
designated for men or are co-ed.
"Shelter operators have the best of intentions, but there are currently
no industry-wide design standards, operational policies or staff
training requirements in place," says Bayes. "We believe that by
connecting people involved in every aspect of shelter design and
operation, we can collaboratively identify cost-efficient opportunities
to improve safety and explore some alternatives to traditional shelters
The Symposium will include the perspectives of architects, shelter
operators, clients, academics and members of government. Operated on a
break-even basis, Symposium registration is open to anyone wishing to
contribute to the conversation about how to ensure B.C. has safe
shelters women feel comfortable using.
"Coming out of this process, we will create a report outlining our
findings and recommendations," Bayes says. "This report will be shared
with policy makers and Symposium participants, and will be available on
For more information or to register for the Symposium, visit http://www.elizabethfry.com/symposium/.
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver is an independent
organization providing support services to women, girls and children at
risk of involvement, involved in or affected by the justice system. Its
programs work to break the cycle of poverty, addiction, mental illness,
homelessness and crime.
SOURCE Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver
For further information:
EFry Media Relations