Executive Director Retirement

A Message from the President

As some of you may already know, our extraordinary Executive Director, Patricia Garrett, will be retiring in September of 2020 after 33 years of service. WINGS has prospered under Pat’s direction and her list of accomplishments are many. She has led a team that has grown from an original shelter of 12 apartments to facilities that house 49 families. WINGS and our Home Next Door provide families access to extensive wrap around support services, childcare and outreach programs. It is truly remarkable how Pat has grown WINGS to the leading shelter it is today.

Pat’s leadership has resulted in thousands of people’s lives being changed for the better. The legacy of support that Pat leaves for her staff and the families served by WINGS is a testament to her dedication, skill and support. Pat’s unforgettable leadership, wisdom, and dedication will be greatly missed by WINGS staff, community, and the family violence prevention sector. The Board has relied on Pat’s guidance and wisdom over the years and she has developed many friendships with past and present board members that I know will continue. We will be celebrating Pat and her contributions to WINGS in many different ways until then. Congratulations on your accomplishments and retirement Pat.

Also, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Kathy Collins has accepted the position of incoming Executive Director at WINGS of Providence. Kathy joins WINGS with a wealth of experience in both policy work with vulnerable populations and management of staff and financial responsibilities. Currently she is the Executive Director of Policy and Program Development Branch, Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security, Government of Alberta.

Kathy’s career has focused on vulnerable populations with experience at the community level working with many agencies, and extensive work with Victim Services, Domestic Violence, Crime Prevention and Restorative Justice. Kathy has extensive experience leading large teams and managing multi-million dollar budgets. Before her time with the Government of Alberta, Kathy had varied experience working on the front lines as a Residential Counselor at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, as a Probation Officer supervising young offenders and doing casework with female offenders for the Elizabeth Fry Society.

We are very excited for Kathy to join us as we know that she will be a great asset to WINGS overall and a wonderful addition to our great team. This fall will be a year of many changes for WINGS, all under the added stress of a global pandemic and we thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to connecting with some of you at our AGM and throughout the year.

Cathy Jo Kickham
President, Board of Directors

Facts About Family Violence

67% of Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has been physically or sexually assaulted.

(Angus Reid Omnibus Survey, Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2012.)

Violence against women happens in all cultures and religions, in all ethnic and racial communities, at every age, and in every income group.

Women's Voices

For nearly 10 years I have dealt with an abusive cycle: being with the father of my children. I had exhausted all my options trying to leave on several occasions. Knowing what abuses were to come, it was clear I had to find another way out. I swallowed my pride and went to a women’s shelter. This was where I heard of WINGS.

At first I did not apply since I was determined to do it on my own. However a single mother with three children on income support cannot find housing at reasonable costs. With only a few days left at the women’s shelter, I applied for WINGS.

Now I have an apartment of my own and my children are safe. Having people there to help me through this transition has been most reassuring. My counsellor has been there to help me while I attain proper paperwork to help keep myself, as well as my children, safe. Breaking an abusive cycle alone has never worked out for me. Now I am more confident that I can finally be free this time.

Without WINGS I had nowhere safe to and probably would have ended back living with my children’s father. Without my counsellors support I would have never applied for an Emergency Protective Order which was something I should have done long a. I am excited to get my children back in a routine with a proper lifestyle. They deserve it.