Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) is thrilled to be the recipient of a generous $300,000 donation from Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. to support violence against women (VAW) shelters and transition houses working with women facing mental health and substance use challenges, both problems on the rise since the pandemic.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence shelters across the country were seeing increasing levels of complexity in their work as they tried to support women who were not only fleeing violence, but also dealing with challenges related to substance use and mental health,” said Lise Martin, executive director of Women’s Shelters Canada. “This complexity has only grown since the start of the pandemic, as mental health worsens and levels of domestic violence and substance use increase. This generous grant from Shoppers Drug Mart will help support women struggling with these issues – and the shelters that serve them – from coast to coast to coast.”

The donation will be used to create a Community of Practice, working with 40-50 shelter staff from across the country to identify ways to better support women with substance use and mental health challenges. The Community of Practice will create best practices, action plans, and resources for VAW shelters and transition houses across Canada to access in order to strengthen their work in this area.

Along with this generous grant, this is the second year in a row that the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program raised money for individual VAW shelters and transition houses across Canada. This year, $2.6 million was raised and donated through its fall fundraising campaign that took place from October 9 – November 5, 2021. The annual campaign raises funds in local Shoppers Drug Mart stores and online to ensure that resources, programming, and essential services are available to women and children fleeing violence across the country.

For more information, see the press release from Shoppers Drug Mart.