The Shared Intake and Referral Program (SIR) is a collaboration between the three Calgary residential shelters: Brenda Strafford Centre, Discovery House, and the Sonshine Centre.
The program’s intent is to reduce stress and re-traumatization for women trying to access one of the three residential shelters, removing practical and emotional barriers to finding secure second-stage housing.
In the past, the process of finding second-stage housing involved submitting multiple applications and sitting on multiple waitlists. The process had the potential to increase clients’ stress and have a compounding negative effect on the domestic violence trauma and potential mental health issues.
Today, referrals and intakes are coordinated by a Shared Intake Worker. Clients only apply once and are placed on one waiting list till a unit becomes available.
Having a single point of entry improves the transition for women and children from emergency to second-stage shelters, reducing stress and trauma.
Women always have a choice and can decide which shelter to access, based on availability.