Working in real estate, one comes to understand very quickly that a house is more than just the walls that surround us. Our home is our resting place, the place we choose to come back to again and again; and above all it is our shelter. When shopping for a home, most of us pay great care and attention to finding just the right space to call our own. Home represents our place of being, an extension of who we are. As these videos and essays by students from all over Canada demonstrate, having a home is having a place of comfort.
Through my work, I have had the honor to help many of my friends and neighbors find a place to call home over the years. But I have had no greater honor than to help those who are in most need of a place of shelter, through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation shelters women and children in need of a safe place. This foundation is dedicated to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs throughout Canada. Royal LePage staff, friends, and family all come together to raise funds for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to providing shelter to victims of domestic violence. Each year these shelters provide a safe resting place for 30,000 women and children. The shelters become their place of comfort and support, a temporary home.
But until each woman and child in need has a place of comfort to call their own—where they are free from fear and violence—our work is not done. On a single surveyed night in April of 2014, nearly 8,000 women and children across Canada slept in shelters. While some who seek shelter do so because they have no other place to stay, most of the women residing in shelters cite physical and emotional abuse as their reason for being homeless. Many of these women had sought help to protect their children from witnessing or becoming victims of abuse. 360,000 children in Canada are exposed to domestic violence each year. Emergency shelters, such as those supported by Royal LePage, help women and children who are seeking relief from abuse.
Despite ongoing efforts to provide a safe haven, Canada’s shelters must still turn women and children away. There is simply not enough room to serve all those in need. I am writing to ask for your support to change this. Through donating funding for emergency shelters, you can give these women and children relief. Through funding education and prevention initiatives, you can help Canada become a place where every house is a safe and supportive home. Three years ago, I began Ride for Shelter. This annual fundraiser has become an important part of my life. I am privileged to participate each year in raising funds to help women and children whose home isn’t as it should be.
This year, our goal for Ride for Shelter is to raise $5,000. My personal goal is to raise $1000. But I think we can do even more. With your help, I can double these goals. If you would like to donate to Ride for Shelter, or sponsor my ride, please visit my Make a Statement for Shelter web page.
Let’s work together to make Canada truly a place to call home for all who live here.