Shared Intake and Referral Program

Women and children fleeing domestic violence face significant financial, emotional and practical barriers. By working together to implement the Shared Intake and Referral Program (SIR), Discovery House, Brenda Strafford Society and Sonshine Community Services have significantly improved the experience of transitioning from emergency to second-stage shelter.

Before the SIR was in place, women had to initiate the process of finding second-stage housing for themselves and their children after the maximum 21-day emergency shelter stay. This means submitting applications to multiple shelters and sitting on multiple waitlists, a tedious process that increases client stress and anxiety and has detrimental effects on pre-existing traumas and mental health.

With the SIR, referrals and applications are standardized and all intakes are coordinated by a shared intake worker representing all three of Calgary’s second-stage shelters. Clients only have to apply once and are placed on a single waiting list until a unit becomes available in one of the three shelters.


Having a single point of entry improves the transition for women and children from emergency to second-stage shelters, reducing stress and trauma. 

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