Latest News

New Position: Indigenous Legal Advocate

March 15, 2019

The Indigenous Legal Advocate is responsible for the coordination of Indigenous clients in the
court house and assist them with completing their court orders, assisting through the court
processes and providing resources and case management support.

This role will eventually be responsible for assisting the once weekly on the court floor and managing volunteers and ensuring that clients attending court have appropriate navigation of services.

In addition, the Indigenous Legal Advocate will facilitate and manage a monthly collaborative case management table for high and medium acuity individuals with episodic or chronic interactions with the justice system, mental health and/or addictions and may be experiencing homelessness or insecure housing. The Indigenous Legal Advocate will ensure that culture is prioritized to increase wellness and healing of Indigenous clients.

Click Here to Learn More


Blackfoot Language Class 2019

March 7, 2019

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary offers Indigenous Language Classes in partnership with Pathways Community Services. Efry Calgary will be holding 12 weeks of conversational Blackfoot Language Classes every Wednesday.
Women of all Nations and their partners are encouraged to join these free sessions. Learn the language, the Stories, and the History of the Blackfoot Territories.

Please note, These classes are not For Professionals.

Date: Starting Wed. Mar. 27, 2019
Location: 1731 – 10AVE SW (efry office)
Time: 6PM – 8PM

To Register: Call – 403.294.0737 Or Email – reception@elizabethfrycalgary.ca


Meet the Pugal family

February 26, 2019

Rowell, his wife Gem, and their children Jet and Jewel. They love the Calgary Zoo and Tuesday movie nights. They’re also big fans of good food—including local staple Big T’s BBQ.

In October 2011, Rowell moved from the Philippines to Canada in search of a better life for his family. He found work in Rimbey, Alberta, but was not able to apply for his permanent resident card, as he was classified as a low-skill worker. A couple years later, Rowell got a new job: Food Service Supervisor. After a year working in the new, skilled position, Rowell was eligible to apply for permanent residency.

In 2015, when Rowell submitted his application, he included his wife and both of their children. Jewel was only 10 years old at the time, but Jet was 19—making him too old to be considered Rowell’s dependent.

So in 2016, when Gem and Jewel joined Rowell in Canada, Jet was left behind in the Philippines.

The Pugal family searched for a way to bring Jet to Canada, but they were up against some sizeable obstacles.

“Besides the numerous misinformations and misdirections, we were faced with the problem of financial difficulty because some of the immigration advisers or consultants we [went] to exorbitant fees,” Rowell said. “And they [could] not even gave us an assurance that my son will be here.”

Armed with questions, Rowell and Gem attended an information session at the Centre for Newcomers. Nicolle, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and Immigration Legal Advocate for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, was one of the speakers. After hearing part of their story during the Q&A portion of the evening, Nicolle approached the Pugals to discuss further.

“We felt very relieved and grateful when we had spoken to Ms. Nicolle because of her sincerity and her willingness to help,” Rowell said. “She gave us straight-forward answers. And not to mention, on top of that, EFry services are [free].”

As it turned out, Nicolle had good news for the Pugal family. She told them about a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) proposal to change the age of eligible dependents from 18 to 22 years of age—which could make 19-year-old Jet eligible again.

Immigrant Legal Advocate Program

The Pugal family watched closely as the CIC—which had since been rebranded as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)—moved closer to raising the age limit. Rowell contacted Nicolle in the summer of 2017 when it became clear that the IRCC was going to
confirm the amendment.

“We communicated constantly, and she suggested that we should prepare all the necessary paperworks and all requirements so that when IRCC finally confirm[ed] the amendment, […] we immediately submit my son’s permanent resident application,” Rowell said.

The new maximum age of qualified dependents came into effect on October 24 th , 2017. Jet’s 22nd birthday—which would have made him ineligible again—was only 58 days later.

“The biggest challenge we had [was] timing,” Rowell said. “Ms. Nicolle ‘s suggestion to prepare all requirements and paperworks even before the new revision takes into effect, was very smart, effective, and timely, to say the least.”

Jet arrived in Calgary this December, just in time for his 23rd birthday.

“All of us are very happy, thankful, and [we feel] blessed that after eight loooong years [sic], we were finally able to celebrate my son’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s together as a complete family.”

The Pugal family, together at last, is now planning to apply for Canadian citizenship.

“We will be forever grateful to this organization,” Rowell said. “To Ms. Nicolle, and to all the staff, employees, volunteers, contributors, that [comprise] the EFry Society of Calgary.”

Follow this link to learn more about the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Program.


Donate Your Car and Help The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary

January 22, 2019

Donate a Car Canada now accepts Vehicle Donations for The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary.  Free towing is provided in most areas across Canada, or you can drop off your vehicle to maximize your donation. When you donate your car, truck, RV, boat, or motorcycle to The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary through Donate A Car Canada, it will either be recycled or sold at auction (depending on its condition, age and location). Donate a Car Canada will look after all the details to make it easy for The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary to benefit. After your vehicle donation is complete, our charity will send you a tax receipt and will put your gift to good use. Please click here to donate a vehicle.


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.