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Frequently asked questions

What are my options

In a situation of abuse

If you are in a situation of abuse, you can either call our 24 Hour Support Line, come to the Shelter or see a counsellor at our Counselling and Resource Office.

Shelter 514-731-0833

1) What does the shelter look like?

The shelter is a warm, welcoming home. From the exterior, it looks like any other house on the street.  When you walk in, you will find a kitchen, dining room, living room and a play area.  There are five bedrooms for the residents. Each family has their own room and single women usually share a room with another resident. There are also staff offices, full bathrooms on all floors, and a laundry room.

2) How do I make plans if I need shelter?

You can call the Auberge Shalom Hot Line at 514-731-0833 any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A counsellor will speak to you and discuss your situation. She will tell you what you can expect at the shelter and you can then decide, with the counsellor, if shelter is the best solution for you.

3) How do I get to the shelter?

Our address is confidential, so if you need to come to the shelter, you will be given the address only by phone, after you have spoken to the counsellor on our 24-Hour Telephone Support Line. The counsellor will help you prepare a safe plan for coming and help you work out the transportation.   

4) What about my belongings?

For safekeeping, you should bring your personal documents with you (yours and those of your children). These documents may also be of use during your stay at the shelter:

  • Birth certificate
  • Medicare card
  • Passport
  • Visa or immigration papers
  • Bank statements
  • Legal custody papers
  • Lease or mortgage
  • Medication prescriptions
  • Marriage certificate
  • Social insurance card
  • Bank card and/or  visa or other credit cards

 As well, you will need your:

  • Keys
  • Personal telephone numbers
  • Personal agenda
  • Some clothing as well as any other personal items

 Your children will need their own clothing, personal items and school books.

Should you not have time to pack or if you forget something, we can provide you with basic supplies.  You can return to get your belongings with the help of the police soon after you are settled in the shelter.

5) What about my pets?

Unfortunately, we cannot have pets stay at the shelter.  However, if you have pets and you want to come to shelter, we can help you find a safe place to board them.  We understand how important your pets are and that abandoning them is not a good option.  We have resources to help keep you, and your pets safe. 

6) How does shelter work?

All services are confidential and offered free of charge. To help support you throughout your stay, you will be able to meet with a counsellor regularly as well as attend group meetings with other residents. You will be able to explore your concerns about conjugal violence and its impact on your family. We also offer you accompaniment to legal, medical and other related appointments as well as referrals to appropriate resources according to your needs. All of our residents live in a communal environment and participate in caring for the home.

7) Can I practice my own religion at the shelter?

Yes. Auberge Shalom welcomes women from all nationalities and religions. Our Centre respects and follows the Jewish laws of “kashrut” (food preparation) and its festivals so that Jewish women in need can benefit from our services. However, all our clientele can feel comfortable practicing their own religion.  

8) What about my children?

Services
Your children will be in a safe, nurturing environment where a worker can help them process their feelings.  They will learn about healthy relationships and most importantly, that the abuse was not their fault. 

Can my children go to school?
We want you and your children to be safe and we do not want you to lose access to them. Until legal decisions have been made, both parents have rights to the children.  We will assess together whether or not your children should continue going to school and continue attending their activities.  We will also assess if they need a break to adjust to the changes in their lives. 

While many children keep their regular routine, it may not be advisable for others. In situations where safety may be compromised, we can communicate with the school to get homework. At times, the best option may be to temporarily change schools.  These are difficult decisions however, our staff will support you throughout this time and you will ultimately make your own decisions on how to proceed.   

Kidnapping
Yes, you can be accused of kidnapping, but you have the right to protect yourself and your children. Most mothers bring their children to a shelter without a problem. 

Police
When the police investigate alleged kidnapping, they need to verify that the children are safe. However, both parents have equal rights so the police cannot take the children away from you. 

Leaving the Province/Country?
A parent does not have the right to remove children from their province or country of residence without the other parent’s permission.  Seek legal advice before making this decision.

9) How long can I expect to stay at the shelter?

Each situation is different however, the average stay at the shelter is between 6-8 weeks. Your counsellor will help you develop a plan upon leaving the shelter.  You can choose to leave at anytime should you change your mind.

Counselling and Resource Office 514-485-4783

1) What can I expect from the Counselling and Resource Office?

The Counselling and Resource Office is separate from the shelter and is there for women and children who are or have been in a situation of abuse. You can use the office to discuss your situation and decide what to do; for short-term or for longer term counselling.  Consultations are by appointment only.

2) How do I contact the office?

You can call the Office at 514-485-4783 during week days or leave a message after hours.  A counsellor will speak to you and discuss your situation. She will tell you what to expect and you can then decide if counselling is the best option for you.

3) How do I get to the office?

Our address is confidential, so if you need to come to the office, you will be given the address by phone after you have spoken to the counsellor, and she will help you prepare a safe plan to come.