Since 1980, Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society has provided shelter, hope and education to families affected by family violence. Our programs and services have evolved to meet the needs of each client, woman and child.
2013: IN THE COMMUNITY
The Community Housing program has tripled the number of clients it services within four short years. It is fully integrated into Discovery House goals and client servicing. All our clients are served by one case manager who supports the family from the time they are housed to when they transition back to the community.
2010: 30 YEARS…
Discovery House celebrates 30 years of providing safe, secure residence and empowering women to leave domestic violence behind. With the help of our our generous funders, donors and community stakeholders, we make a difference in the lives of hundreds of women and children.
2009: MORE GROWTH AND CHANGE
The HOUSING FIRST PILOT PROJECT is launched. Using the “Housing First” model, and working with Cups Rapid Exit to provide housing, we now offer women the possibility of being housed directly into their community. Once housed, they and their children are given the counselling and support services they need to heal and move on with their lives. Highly successful, the pilot project is now an integrated program at Discovery House.
Discovery House’s new logo symbolizes a family’s transition from tears to joy, fear to strength, poverty to security, and isolation to belonging.
2008: SERVICE DELIVERY GROWTH
A five-year strategic plan (2008-2012) is developed based on Leadership, Quality, and Sustainability. It includes an ambitious goal to double the client capacity of Discovery House in five years.
2007: INDIVIDUALIZED CLIENT SERVICES
Because each woman, teen or child has her or his unique story and needs, individualized, wrap around services becomes a top priority.
2004: OPENING OF THE NEW FACILITY
Construction of the new facility is complete. The residence can now accommodate 19 families. We receive generous community and corporate donations of furniture, kitchen supplies and more to furnish the suites. Its first residents move in in mid-February.
The Grand Opening is held on April 22, 2004. It uses state-of-the art technologies for client safety while also having unique architectural features that make it like home: a common room with comfortable couches, books and DVD player; a meditation room; a children’s play centre and an outdoor courtyard with a playground.
2003: NEW CHALLENGES
Excavation for the new shelter begins in early 2003. Two hundred more families will receive care and support. The Calgary Health Region helps us with transitioning our clients to temporary housing before the new facility was complete..
2001 – 2002: FAMILIES BUILDING FUTURES CAMPAIGN
The Society changes its name to Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society. Discovery House embarks on a capital campaign to raise $6.5 Million to build a new facility and expand services. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Calgary Homelessness Foundation, Human Resources Development Canada, and an anonymous donor provide significant funds. The location is identified and arrangements for a land exchange with the City of Calgary are finalized in May 2002. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 7, 2002.
1999: A NEW NAME AND A PLAN FOR A NEW BUILDING
A name change to “The Calgary Centre for Prevention of Family Violence” is adopted to reflect the nature of the Centre’s overall goals. Discovery House remains the branding name for the organization.
Discovery House has a wait list that averages 30 women and 60 children. Of the 14 apartments in the shelter, four function as offices to house program staff due to a lack of counselling space. Five other staff members are housed in a different location from Discovery House.
Planning begins for a new facility with an increased shelter capacity of 60 per cent and adequate space to house all programs.
1998: THE GENERATIONS PROGRAM BEGINS
There is growing recognition that many women remain with partners perpetrating abuse. Counselling services for abusers are provided through The Generations Program.
1995 – 1999: FUNDRAISING STRATEGIES DEVELOPED
A fundraising and marketing strategic plan is developed in 1998.
1994: THE COMMUNITY BASED PROGRAM EXPANDS
The Community Based Program expands to better meet the needs of families in the community.
1989: THE CHILD & YOUTH PROGRAM EXPANDS
The long-term consequences to children who experience or witness violence in their families are recognized. Discovery House now offers individual and group counselling for the children. Summer and after-school recreational programs are developed.
1987: COMMUNITY BASED PROGRAM BEGINS
Discovery House responds to the increased need for community-based support. Individual and group counselling are offered to those who have experienced abuse from a current or previous partner.
1986: VOLUNTEER PROGRAM EXPANDS
Volunteers are trained to help professional staff in their work with women and children using shelter services, and to carry out fundraising and public awareness functions.
1984: DISCOVERY HOUSE MOVES
Discovery House doubles the number of residents it can accommodate by relocating to a facility with 14 furnished apartments. This facility has a security system, a common room for socializing, and increased office space for an expanding staff.
1981: NEW START VOLUNTEER PROGRAM BEGINS
Shelter staff become increasingly aware of the need for social support among shelter residents. A valued volunteer develops and implements the New Start Volunteer program, pairing lay helpers with shelter residents to break the social isolation common among abused women and their children.
1980: DISCOVERY HOUSE OPENS
Community members recognize that many abused women and their children need long-term shelter to cope with the consequences of domestic violence. The Calgary Family Support Society opens Discovery House – the first long-term shelter for abused women in Calgary and one of the first of its kind in Canada. Women and children in immediate danger from their partner can receive up to six months accommodation.The facility is an old apartment building with seven furnished suites.