Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter

500, 1509 Centre Street SW
Calgary, AB T2G 2E6
Executive Director: Kim Ruse
Board President: Shelly Norris

Charitable Reg. #:12988 3443 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 83 cents are available for programs.

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About Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter:

Founded in 1974, Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter (CWES) works to eliminate family violence and abuse. Calgary Police Service responds to about 19,000 domestic violence calls each year. Some of these callers are among the 14,387 people helped by CWES last year. A variety of programs involve individuals and families to help prevent, escape, or recover from abuse. These programs include emergency shelter, counselling, classes, and support through court procedures.

In F2017, 53% of program spending was allocated to the Emergency Shelter. This 50-bed facility houses women and children escaping abuse. People staying in the shelter receive food, clothing, counselling services, and support in finding suitable long-term housing. A nurse is available on site once a week. During the last year, the shelter housed 223 women and 312 children each for an average of 21 days. Based on shelter-specific spending reported, it costs $7.3k to house a person for their entire stay, or about $350 per person per day. In F2016, the shelter housed 238 women and 323 children for an average of 30 days. This cost per person housed was about $5.8k for the entire stay or $190 per day.

Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter allocated 22% of program spending to Community & Outreach Counselling. Over 90% of the people helped by CWES are served through community counselling. Counselors help women who are unable or choose not to enter the shelter. There are counselors designated to work with women identifying as Aboriginal and for women 50 and older.

The remaining 25% of program spending is split between the Healthy Relationships, Child and Adolescent, and Men’s Counselling programs. Children and youth attend classes on avoiding abuse, and men are coached to not be abusers. Children who have witnessed domestic abuse receive additional counselling.

Less than 1% of spending is used to operate a 24-hour counselling hotline and to coach abused women through court visits. These programs require minimal spending but help many people: the hotline received 11,998 calls last year and the court program helped 416 women.


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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence has given Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter a Low impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Of the 591 youth who participated in Healthy Relationships classes, 94% (556) reported having learned skills to help build healthy relationships. This rate increased from F2016 when 91% (493) of the 542 participants reported this learning. CWES also reported increased effectiveness of the 24-hour hotline with 99% (11,878) of the 11,998 callers saying the call had met their immediate needs compared with 87% (9,890) of the 11,368 callers in F2016. Of the women involved in the court program, 96% said they were better able to access the legal system to keep themselves and their children safe.


Impact Rating: Low

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Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter is medium-sized charity, with donations and special events revenues of $4.6m in F2017. Its administrative costs are 8% of revenues and its fundraising costs are 9% of donations. For every $1 donated to the charity, 83 cents go to programming, falling within Ci’s reasonable range. The charity’s funding reserves of $828k result in a program cost coverage ratio of 13%. This means that CWES could cover less than 2 months of programming with funding reserves, indicating a need for funding.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 31, 2017 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.3%9.1%8.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.5%10.4%10.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 13.1%11.9%9.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,0593,1872,911
Government funding 3,2963,1792,918
Special events 1,5221,3501,567
Investment income 41510
Other income 437
Total revenues 7,9227,7257,413
Program costs 6,3245,7725,706
Administrative costs 657700643
Fundraising costs 389471463
Other costs 504042
Cash flow from operations 502742559
Funding reserves 828688548

Note: Ci has adjusted amortization of deferred capital contributions and gain on sale of property and equipment, affecting revenues by ($167k) in F2017, ($169k) in F2016, and ($857k) in F2015. In F2016, revenues were also adjusted by ($667k) for gain on sale of property and equipment. Ci has adjusted expenses by amortization of property and equipment for an effect of ($378k) in F2017, ($369k) in F2016, and ($393k) in F2015.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 74

Avg. Compensation: $53,479

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The Family Violence Helpline (403.234.7233) is often the first contact for people reaching out for support. Our Helpline counsellors answer the phone 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. They provide counselling, safety planning, referrals and information in multiple languages.

Comments added October 22, 2019


Charity Contact

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