New facility provides more crisis space to help Calgary children and families
A resource for Calgary families going through personal crises will soon have more refuge space to offer when parents ask for help.
On Friday, the Children‘s Cottage Society opened its brand new Children and Family Center, located in the northwest community of Montgomery.
The new building, approximately 35,000 square feet, will accommodate approximately 1,900 babies and children each year while providing support for 8,850 children and families.
Space is badly needed, the band says, as it admits there have been times when it has been unable to meet demand due to a lack of space and resources.
In 2016, the company said it turned away 1,795 children, while in 2019 that number rose to 1,915.
“We have turned away children from our crisis center in Bridgeland – approximately 1,900 children each year. Children who come here because their parents are going through a crisis or emergency that prevents them from caring for them,” Patty said. Kilgallon, CEO of the Children’s Cottage Society.
She says when children are turned away, it puts them at risk of neglect and could harm them.
Kilgallon says the new building will also be able to cater to some of the vulnerable populations for whom their current location doesn’t have space.
“We see many aboriginal children coming to us and we have never had the opportunity to have elders in our building to support these children and their parents. So now the elders will have a space to live in and we will also have a ceremonial hall. “
The facility, which includes a 20-bed emergency nursery, access to the Calgary West Family Resource Network, counseling services and a number of other programs, costs about $31 million.
To date, $15.2 million has been raised through grants from provincial and municipal governments as well as community partners.
More information about the Children’s Cottage Society, including the option to donate towards the costs of the facility, can be found online.