Our Story

Wings of Providence was registered as a charitable organization with Revenue Canada on April 1, 1986 and incorporated under the Society Act in June 1986.

In the beginning...

A group of concerned citizens, including the Sisters of Providence, were willing to find the means necessary to address the need for long-term, safe and supportive accommodation designed for women with children who had experienced family violence.

Founding president, Sister Gloria Keylor, S.P. and 11 volunteer board members and resource people, including Rocky Forest and Judge L. Maynard, worked very hard to bring Wings of Providence to reality.

In April, 1987, WINGS, which stands for Women in Need Growing Stronger, opened its doors to our first family in need.

Extending WINGS further

In 2001, WINGS launched a capital campaign to raise $4.75 million for a new 20 unit apartment building to expand our services. After touring 54 apartment buildings and discussing needs with architects and engineers, the Board of Directors determined that the best and most cost effective option was to build a new facility.

With the support of major contributors like the Estate of Eileen Waterhouse, Edmonton Housing Trust Fund, CMHC, Sisters of Providence, and the City of Edmonton Low Income Capital Housing Assistance Program Grant, WINGS opened a second-stage shelter in 2003 within a quiet community near schools and shopping; a community where these families could spread their wings towards independent living.

The Home Next Door

WINGS once again extended our services in the summer of 2012, opening the Home Next Door – an affordable housing complex to women with children to promote continued healing and independence. The first-of-its-kind of affordable housing facilities in Edmonton, the Home Next Door provides a safe, secure and affordable home within the healthy and supportive community of WINGS.

Facts About Family Violence

While not all children who witness violence suffer direct physical abuse, they frequently develop long-term behavioural and psychological problems. Exposure to violence can affect children’s brain development and ability to learn, and lead to a wide range of behavioural and emotional issues such as anxiety, aggression, bullying, phobias, and insomnia.

(Child Abuse/Children Exposed to Violence Information Sheet, Alberta Children and Youth Services, October 2008. Available: http://www.child.alberta.ca/home/images/familyviolence/doc_opfvb_sheet_child_colour.pdf)

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

"Being able to get into WINGS changed my life and my son’s life too. We are safe from my ex-spouse. I have learned to heal and grow. I have learned to let go of things I can’t change. I have learned to forgive myself and my ex. I have grown stronger. WINGS is a life saver for me.

The counsellors are great and very helpful. I look forward to going to group; to know you are not alone and that other women have been in similar situations. My son loves daycare; all the other kids to play with and develop friendships.

The province really needs programs like this and more of them. The shelters are full. It is easy to say, not my problem - until it happens to you or someone you know, like your Mom, Aunt, Niece, Sister, or Friend. It is devastating to families and we all need help up."