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22 Days of Hope: Day 11

La Salle Second-Stage Shelter

22 Days of Hope: Day 11

Ministries funded through our Sign of Hope helps provide a refreshing, new beginning for many individuals transitioning out of a difficult situation and into a new life. La Salle is one of our ministries that provide strength and courage to women looking for that new beginning.

La Salle was initiated in 1988 by the Grey Nuns and was overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors, officially joining Catholic Social Services in 2009. To date, the second-stage shelter has continued to help rebuild the lives of over 200 women and 350 children — including Sara and her daughter.

Sara escaped the Ethiopian Massacre in 2005, settling into a Kenyan refugee camp, where she met a companion who would soon become her husband. The two had a daughter while at the camp, and shortly thereafter Sara and her family moved to Edmonton.

Upon settling into their new home and life in Edmonton, Sara’s husband became increasingly frustrated with his inability to find employment opportunities. “He was angry and upset all the time,” Sara explained, on the struggles her husband faced. With difficulties continuing to ensue, Sara’s husband turned to alcohol.

“He was drinking, every day,” Sara revealed. Fearing that her daughter will be mentally and emotionally traumatized by her father’s exposure to alcohol, Sara ultimately decided to take her daughter and leave.

Sara and her daughter settled into a first-stage shelter and were eventually referred to La Salle. Once she settled into the residence, Sara was set up with a counsellor to help adapt to her new independent life and achieve her personal goals. Since her time at La Salle, Sara has been able to secure a stable career and even find a new permanent home for her and her daughter. Sara is grateful for the support she has received from La Salle, and continues to live a safe and happy life with her daughter.

* Sara's name has been changed to protect her identity. The women in the photo are also not depicted in this story.

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