The Redwood Emergency Shelter Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

1. Who can come to The Redwood Emergency Shelter?

Women and their children, trans, and gender-diverse individuals who are experiencing abuse can come to The Redwood. If you live close to the shelter you will be assisted to find another shelter for your safety.


2. Can I bring my 15-year-old son?

Yes you can. The Redwood permits male youth up to 16-years-old to come with their mother.

The Redwood provides a set of early intervention, tailor-made services aimed at giving children and youth opportunities to heal from the trauma they have experienced.


3. What does it cost to stay at The Redwood?

There is no charge for staying at The Redwood.


4. If I need to come to the shelter, how do I contact you?


5. What if The Redwood has no space?

The Redwood staff will support you in finding another shelter that may have space.

The Redwood will refer you to the Assaulted Women’s Helpline that can support you to find other shelters that may have space. For women who need to access support in French, we will refer you to La Maison d’hébergement pour Femmes Francophone.


6. How long can I stay?

Your length of stay will be determined by your individual needs. On average, the expected length of stay will vary from three to six months.


7. Can I bring my pets?

Animals are not allowed to stay in the shelter unless they are a registered service animal. The Redwood will refer you to work directly with Safe Pet Ontario that will find a caring place for your pet to stay. Your pet will  cared for by their volunteer fosters.


8. I currently have a live-in support person. I can’t leave my abusive situation unless she can come with me. Can my support person come with me to The Redwood?

Yes, your support person will be able to accompany you and stay at The Redwood.


9. I am 15-years old, can I come alone to The Redwood?

Survivors have to be at least 16-years-old to reside alone in a shelter. If you are under 16-years-old, we will assist you to find appropriate support.

Children’s aid societies provide child protection services including the investigation of reports of abuse or neglect of children under 18 and where necessary, take steps to protect them.

If you are 16 or 17-years-old and you are in need of protection, children’s aid society will support you to make decisions to help minimize risks to your safety and promote your best interests, protection and well-being. 


10. What is the harm reduction policy at The Redwood?

The Redwood meets survivors where they are, including where they are in substance use. We do not expect residents to be abstinent or enrol in any program that requires abstinence. We will not ask a survivor to be sober to return to the shelter. The Redwood will offer support in creating a safety plan in using substances to reduce harm to yourself, other residents, and staff. The Redwood can also make referrals to supervised consumption services.

What to expect at The Redwood:

Upon arrival you will be:

  • Welcomed into a large building where many families live
  • Provided with food, linen and towels
  • Shown to your private room with a bed, dresser, closet space 
  • Introduced to staff who will be supporting you during your stay
  • Will receive support during this difficult transition
  • Able to take a minute and breathe! ❤️
Private bedrooms

Private bedrooms

The shelter has 11 private bedrooms. Residents most basic needs will be cared for including a secure home and the ability to sleep.

The Redwood's Emergency Shelter has 35 beds.

Redwood staff will make sure residents have seasonally appropriate clothing and footwear.

Residents will receive access to personal care supplies.

Cribs are available if needed.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Each bedroom door is secured with an electronic keypad.

Every resident can keep valuables in their own personal safe.

Children's playroom

Children's playroom

The cozy children's playroom is furnished with items to encourage open-ended play!

Redwood Park

Redwood Park

Redwood Park is a vibrant and engaging outdoor space for women and children living in the emergency shelter.

Redwood Park is a therapeutic playground where children can have fun, make friends, and begin to heal from the trauma of experiencing family violence.

Nutritious and delicious meals

Nutritious and delicious meals

Our Food Services Worker prepares nutritious and delicious meals every day for residents of The Redwood emergency shelter.

Throughout your stay you will have:

  • Your own private room with your children
  • Access to translation services
  • Access to healthy and delicious meals prepared by our Food Services Worker
  • Access to a caseworker 24/7
  • The opportunity to tell us your story and we will listen
  • You will be able to identify your immediate needs and goals
  • You will receive support to register your child in school or daycare
  • You will receive support to apply for housing
  • You will receive information about your legal and housing rights
  • You will receive support to apply for custody of your children
  • You will receive assistance in accessing legal support including application to Legal Aid Ontario
  • Access to a range of culturally appropriate programming
  • You will receive appropriate referrals to community agencies
  • You can access TTY, elevator and some automatic door openers
  • You can participate in groups held at the shelter (residents’ meeting, group wellness workshops, trauma-informed yoga sessions)
  • You will have a clean environment
  • You will have a private courtyard with a playground
  • You will have a communal living environment
  • You will have access to laundry facilities
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