The Medicine Hat Rotary Club welcomed Natasha Carvalho, Executive Director of the MH Women's Shelter and Peggy Revell, Community Education and Awareness Coordinator for the Shelter to our meeting today.  Natasha began by speaking about the history of the shelter, which now goes back almost 30 years in Medicine Hat.  They began with a 13 bed facility, and they now have a total of 30 beds.  They also have a vastly expanded range of programs and services, and since 2018 have been inclusive of all genders, so the "Safe House" is now for anyone.
Natasha reports to a Board of Directors, who operate the charity and it is unfortunately a pretty busy place.  The emergency portion of the shelter saw a total of 202 adults and 99 children in their 2022-2023 year.  Natasha also spoke about their second stage facility, named Musasa House, which is a 10 unit townhouse type facility which provides second stage shelter for up to a year, as clients rebuild their lives and transition back into the community.  That facility, the only one south of Calgary at this point, saw 17 adults and 31 children over that same reporting period.
Natasha spoke about their newest endeavor, a community outreach facility, aimed at counselling and education.  It saw a total of 728 individuals over 2022-23.
The Shelter is just beginning a funding campaign for needed upgrades to the facility, to make it more appropriate for their current clients.  They are starting out a campaign for capital improvements to the shelter and facility to the tune of over $6.0 Million dollars. Much more information is available on the Shelter Society website at , should you choose to support this necessary and deserving service in the community.
Natasha was thanked by everyone and presented with our Rotary speakers mug by President Bruce.