This page contains links to summaries (including BOQs), of full structural assessments and drawings from both shelter designs books. These technical drawings and bills of quantities are intended to inform decision making - they are not intended to be used as they are.
Every year thousands of individuals are displaced from their homes by natural and human-generated disasters. Many will be housed in shelter facilities operated by the American Red Cross and other agencies and organizations. Shelters are a critical determinant for survival in the initial stages of a disaster. Shelters can vary in size and purpose. They may range from small shelter operations that house few individuals to larger facilities that shelter thousands.
Individuals in shelters are required to share living spaces and sanitary facilities and may be exposed to crowded conditions. Local, state, federal, and tribal emergency management, shelter coordinators and managers, and public health professionals should be aware of the risk of introduction and subsequent transmission of flu and other infectious diseases in these settings. CDC developed these recommendations to assist shelter staff to assess and take appropriate actions for identifying persons who may have influenza and subsequently reducing the possibility of transmission of influenza to shelter clients and staff. During times of disaster, the availability of resources to apply these guidelines may be limited; best efforts should be made to implement these guidelines to the extent possible, as appropriate.
2009 H1N1 flu virus spreads from person to person in the same way as seasonal flu. The main way that flu is thought to spread is through the coughing or sneezing of people infected with the flu virus. People may also become infected by touching objects with flu viruses on them (e.g., doorknobs, tabletops, keyboards) and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. In shelters, close quarters, larger groups of people, and shared sanitary and other facilities may increase opportunities for flu to spread from person to person.
CDC will provide periodic updates of assessments on the spread of flu, the severity of the illness it is causing (including hospitalizations and deaths), and possible changes in flu viruses at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/. If the information CDC gathers indicates that flu is beginning to cause more severe disease than seen previously in 2009, or if other developments indicate more aggressive mitigation measures should be taken, CDC may recommend additional strategies. Also, because conditions may vary from community to community, emergency shelter managers should also look to their state and local health officials for information and guidance specific to their location.
Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to develop a range of policy initiatives aimed at addressing family violence and spousal abuse (Department of Justice Canada 2011). Among those designed to help victims of abuse, initiatives that focus on shelter and housing are especially important. According to a recent study, emergency shelter and related housing assistance are among the most frequently accessed type of victims' services in Canada (Sauvé 2009).
Using data collected by the 2010 Transition Home Survey (THS), this Juristat article analyses information on residential facilities in Canada, particularly those that offer shelter to abused women. It presents information on the different types of facilities, the number of annual admissions, the reasons women seek shelter and the variety of services offered to clients. In addition, this article examines the use of shelters offering culturally sensitive services to Aboriginal people, including those living on reserve and in the territories.
The information presented in this article refers to two distinct time periods. First, data pertaining to the characteristics of facilities, the number of annual admissions, the types of services offered and financial information were collected in 2010 and are based upon the 12-month period that preceded the survey.1 Second, information was collected on the women being served in shelters on the specific "snapshot date" of April 15, 2010.
On April 15, 2010, there were 593 shelters for abused women operating across Canada (Table 1). This was an increase of 24 shelters since 2008 (up 4%), the last time the survey was conducted, and 40 shelters since 2006 (up 7%).
Since 2008, the number of shelters in operation increased or remained stable in all provinces and territories for which data is available. The largest increase was reported in Nova Scotia, where the number of facilities increased by 2 since 2008 (up 13%).
In Canada, there are several types of shelters available to women leaving abusive situations (Text box 1). While the overall number of shelters in Canada has increased, the growth among the different types of shelters has varied. With 22 more shelters in 2010 than in 2008, transition homes increased the most and continued to be the most common type of shelter for abused women in 2010 (Chart 1). Other increases in 2010 were noted in the number of second-stage housing facilities (up 11 shelters or 11%) and women's emergency shelters (up 6 shelters or 9%).
For the purposes of the Transition Home Survey (THS), the term 'shelter' is used broadly to refer to all residential facilities for abused women. In addition, the following generic categories were developed to further define the various types of shelters. Referring to these definitions, those responding to the THS were asked to select the facility type that best described their shelter.
Transition home/shelter: Facility offering short- or moderate-term (1 day to 11 weeks) secure housing for abused women with or without children. This type of shelter may also be referred to as first-stage emergency housing.
Emergency shelter: Facility offering short-term (1 to 3 days) respite for a wide population range, not exclusively abused women. Some facilities may provide accommodation for men as well as women. This type of facility may accommodate residents who are not associated with family abuse but are without a home due to an emergency situation (e.g., eviction for non-payment of rent).
Safe home network: A network of private homes in rural or remote areas where there is no full-fledged operating shelter. It offers subsidiary short-term (1 to 3 days) emergency housing for women.
Other: Includes all other residential facilities offering services to abused women with or without children, not otherwise classified. This category includes rural family violence prevention centres in Alberta, interim housing in Manitoba, family resource centres in Ontario, and other types of emergency shelters such as YWCAs. Note that these services may not be exclusive to abused women.
The shelter types that have increased in number over the past decade tend to rely less on funding from provincial and territorial governments. While all shelters receive some funding from provincial and territorial governments, the proportion of income received from these sources varies by shelter type. For example, transition homes receive 81% of their funding from provincial and territorial governments. Meanwhile, women's emergency shelters (71%), emergency shelters (62%) and second-stage housing (37%) receive less of their funding from the provinces and territories. These shelter types rely more on municipal governments, charitable donations and user fees for their revenues.
Not only has the number of shelters in Canada increased over the past several years, so too has the number of beds available to clients. In 2010, the total number of beds available was 11,461 (Table 2).2 This represented an increase of 757 beds or 7% from two years earlier, and an increase of 936 beds or 9% from 2006. This growth in bed availability is driven by the increase in high-capacity facilities that offer a higher average number of beds. Second-stage housing facilities, for example, provide an average of 22 beds per shelter, while transition homes offer 15 beds per shelter.
On April 15, 2010, the majority of beds in shelters for women were occupied. Among those facilities that admit women exclusively, almost three-quarters (74%) of funded and licensed beds were occupied (Text box 2), a proportion that showed little variation among transition homes, women's emergency shelters and second-stage housing.
The availability of spaces within shelters can be measured through the concept of bed space. Facilities responding to the THS provide a count of the funded or licensed beds they have for clients (whether or not a bed is currently occupied). Respondents are asked to exclude unfunded and unlicensed emergency beds, such as cots or sofas. The total number of beds available presented here may therefore undercount the total number of beds that shelters are prepared to provide to clients, if those shelters choose to offer unfunded or unlicensed beds.
Occupancy rates for women-only shelters showed some variation across the country in 2010. Among the provinces, shelters in Newfoundland and Labrador reported the highest occupancy rate (93%), while Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia reported the lowest (55%). Among the territories, Northwest Territories (91%) and Nunavut (99%) reported high occupancy rates, while the rate in Yukon (28%) was comparatively low.
Annual admissions to shelters remained stable in 2009/2010, continuing the pattern evident over the past several years. Between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010 there were about 64,500 admissions of women to shelters across Canada (Table 3), representing a rate of 452 admissions per 100,000 women.3 The