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Breaking Barriers to Housing – A Basic Human Right

June 30, 2018

Homelessness, crime and addiction are closely related. In fact, homlessness increases the risk of incarceration due to addictions or survival related crimes by four to six times compared to the general population.

Women can be especially vulnerable to homelessness and criminalization. Poverty, violence, abuse and lack of access to appropriate, sustainable housing are particularly debilitating issues.

Incarceration is one of the major pathways to homelessness for women. Access to secure housing options after incarceration is an essential factor in breaking this barrier and building a bridge to a better future.

Housing is a basic human right, regardless of personal circumstances. EFry works collaboratively to ensure women have stable housing that prevents them from the revolving door of institutionalization and homelessness.

Our Solution: Programs that Build Bridges

Meaningful programs, resources and supports help those that we serve overcome the barriers that become obstacles in creating more hopeful futures. We provide the bridges to a better life that supports pathways to healing through programs such as:

  • Indigenous Cultural Supports
  • Affordable Housing Supports
  • Emotional Wellness and Employment Readiness

Housing and employment are ongoing needs and are essential for women rebuilding their lives. Damage deposits and short-term housing rental subsidies are a critical priority. Supporting our programs that prepare women for employment will change lives. Your support of our housing and employment programs is imperative to the healing journey of those we serve.

Together, we can break barriers and build bridges for Calgary’s marginalized people. To learn more about giving opportunities with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, please email reception@elizabethfrycalgary.ca or call 403-294-0737.


Breaking Barriers to Justice – Equitable Access for All

June 29, 2018

With Alberta’s current economic climate, an increased number of people are accessing the legal system to address legal charges and offenses. The clients who are most affected by the complexity of our judicial system are those living in poverty. As a result, they do not have equitable access to the necessary legal resources and representation to support them through their legal matters.

Those involved in the legal system often struggle with multiple barriers that limit their ability to navigate the legal system and processes effectively. Individuals lacking the necessary understanding of their legal matters often attempt to address their charges or offences without legal representation or resources. Pleading guilty without a proper understanding of the consequences or alternatives to addressing charges usually has long term negative impact.

A number of EFry clients have language or cultural barriers that make it difficult to comprehend the legal processes. This impedes their ability to address their charges and achieve the best possible outcomes. EFry fills a gap in a complex system by assisting with understanding legal forms, filing processes and referrals to legal resources.

The economic downturn has increased the number of domestic violence matters seen in both Calgary and Regional courts. This has resulted in a greater number of emergency parenting and protection orders being requested in our Legal Advocacy programs. An increase of immigrant women seeking assistance with divorce applications has been noted since 2016. Many Indigenous women face challenges with navigating the complexity of the legal system and have benefited from individualized assistance to appropriately address their legal matters.

Our Solution: Court and Legal Advocacy Programs

Equitable access to justice is a crisis that continues to be a problem for those living under the poverty line. Canada’s pledge of equal justice under the law is one that we as a community must mutually support and promote. EFry needs the support of legal professionals to contribute to these efforts. With demanding and busy practices, we must work together as a legal community to solve this critical issue.

Our Legal Advocacy and Court Programs increase access to justice for those who need it most. EFry provide support to those that struggle with multiple barriers that have decreased chances of positive results when attempting to address their legal matters independently, through our court programs and legal advocacy programs.Partnerships with law firms will help us continue to offer programs to address the need for equitable access to justice for all.

Together, we can break barriers and build bridges for Calgary’s marginalized people. To learn more about giving opportunities with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, please email reception@elizabethfrycalgary.ca or call 403-294-0737.


TELUS Calgary Community Board Supports EFry Youth Program

December 14, 2017

We are pleased to announce the generous support of the TELUS Calgary Community Board and its funding of EFry Calgary’s Youth Legal Advocacy Program. The funding is for one year of the program and will provide resources and support for youth involved in the justice system and courts.

Youth without supports are often overwhelmed and confused about the legal processes and options for their charges. The Youth Legal Advocacy Program provides mentorship supports to at-risk youth, and assistance with information and navigation of legal processes. Positive mentorship relationships are important factors in creating resilience and helping youth avoid further recidivism within the criminal justice system.

Community leader and author Sheldon Kennedy visited EFry Calgary to present a generous financial gift to EFry. During his visit he learned about EFry’s other programs that are making a difference in our community. Sheldon was able to share his own views on the importance of creating resiliency in youth to contribute to future successes.

EFry is very thankful for the support of TELUS Calgary Community Board and for their recognition of our work. This contribution will enable us to continue to support youth in having hopeful futures.

The TELUS Calgary Community Board has donated $6.4 million since 205 to 405 grassroots projects, charities and organizations, and we are pleased to celebrate this new partnership with the TELUS Calgary community.

Thank you for supporting EFry Calgary and making our community stronger.


Elizabeth Fry – The story behind our name

September 13, 2016

Have you ever wondered who was Elizabeth Fry? We are often asked that question and want to introduce you to the incredible woman our agency name honours.

Meet the real Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry has been referred to as the “angel of prisons”, and was a major proponent to make the treatment of prisoners more humane. Elizabeth Fry was born into a wealthy and socially prominent English family in 1789 and was determined to contribute to those less fortunate.

She took an interest in the poor, the sick and prisoners. She began visiting female inmates at London’s infamous Newgate Prison in 1813 and was horrified by the conditions these women lived in. Elizabeth took action and began her life of humanitarian work and prison reform. She achieved significant reform first in England and then over time in prisons across Europe. Her work expanded to include support of the poor, mentally ill and hospital systems and was even credited with influencing health care providers such as Florence Nightingale.

Canadian Societies Working Together

The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies is built on the foundation of Elizabeth Fry’s work of women’s rights in prisons: the right to equality, opportunities and programs in the justice system, and justice without fear of prejudice and discrimination. The Calgary society was founded in 1975 and one of 24 member societies across Canada that meets the unique needs of our communities and collaborates to address poverty, racism and other forms of oppression affecting women.

Celebrating 50 Years in Calgary

This year, Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary is celebrating 50 years of working with thousands of Calgary’s vulnerable women and youth. These women are all unique in their stories, but are linked together by common themes of poverty, abuse, addiction and trauma. With our help and support, these women and their families get another chance.

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary is rich in stories of hope and change for women and children in the justice system. We’re honoured to continue to carry on the legacy of Elizabeth Fry, a passionate advocate for those without a voice and a champion of prison reform.


Celebrating 50 Years of New Chances with Piper Kerman

April 11, 2016

Maybe, because all these good people loved me enough to help me, maybe I wasn’t quite as bad as I felt. Maybe there was a part of me that was worthy of their love.

Orange_Black_PKAn Experience of Incarceration

On April 14th, we have the honour of presenting Piper Kerman at our major fundraising event The View from Behind Bars: An Evening with Piper Kerman. Piper Kerman is the best-selling author of Orange is the New Black, My Year in a Women’s Prison and inspiration behind the Netflix series of the same. She will share her experience of incarceration and the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met while in prison. Her true story explores the friendships and families with these women as well as their mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior.

Finding Another Chance

Much like the women in Piper Kerman’s memoir, the women we serve at EFry all have unique stories. They are linked together by common themes of poverty, abuse, addiction and trauma. It is this cycle of poverty that must be addressed and broken for lasting change to occur.

An Evening with Piper Kerman is about finding another chance after incarceration. Through this event, we hope to create new community relationships and understanding about the unique challenges facing women and their families who are transitioning from prison to our community.

Thank you for Supporting 50 Years of New Chances

This event is EFry’s largest fundraiser in its 50-year history and would not be possible without the generous support from our event sponsors: CTV Calgary, Corus Entertainment, Bow Valley College, Athabasca University, Display Graphics, Landstar Communities, Krywolt Insurance, Mosaic Communications, Quantum Place and United Way of Calgary and Area. Thank you to these organizations for being part of our historic event that will shape the future of women and children in our community for years to come.

Tickets: Eventbrite.ca