This year, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation marks 25 years of helping women and children escaping domestic violence rebuild their lives after abuse.
Since August 26, 1998, Royal LePage professionals have dedicated their big hearts and charitable efforts towards women’s shelters, transition houses and prevention programs that stop domestic violence before it starts. Choosing to tackle such a complex social problem that too often is hidden behind closed doors, Royal LePagers understand that a house is only a home if the people who live there feel safe. Royal LePage agents, brokers and staff want to make a real difference for families facing violence today, all while changing the course for generations to come.
Since its inception, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has grown to become the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to this cause, raising $41 million to date. The only Canadian real estate company with its own branded charity, Royal LePage covers the administrative costs of the foundation, with every dollar raised going directly towards the cause. Royal LePage professionals take great pride in knowing that their philanthropy benefits 200 women’s shelters and national partners, and supports more than 50,000 women and children each year.
The Shelter Foundation’s charitable efforts are fueled by the generosity of thousands of Royal LePagers who donate a portion of their commission every time they help a client buy or sell a home. Fundraising events of all shapes and sizes, including the ‘Challenge for Shelter’ treks, live and silent auctions, and the sale of Shelter Blooms tulip bulbs, have all played an important role in supporting the life-saving and life-changing work that the Shelter Foundation has funded over the last quarter century.
With each year that has passed, our collective understanding of domestic violence has evolved. Thanks to the knowledge of educators, experts and front-line shelter workers, we now know that:
Intimate partner violence doesn’t always show up as bruises or physical injuries. Psychological, emotional and financial abuse can be just as harmful.
While violence and abuse can happen to any woman or girl, some are at much greater risk and have less access to helpful services, including Indigenous women, Black and racialized women, 2SLGBTQIA+ people, young women, women with disabilities, and women living in rural or remote communities.
There are complex reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, as well as significant barriers and risks to seeking help.
Children cannot be shielded from violence in their homes – even that which takes place behind closed doors – and the impacts to their mental and physical health and development can be devastating.
A safe and secure bed in a shelter is only the first of many important steps for a woman fleeing abuse. Job training, financial literacy, affordable transitional housing, legal services, and therapy are all essential, longer-term supports that help women thrive after experiencing domestic violence.
As our supporters mark 25 years of progress and generosity, we look with purpose at the work that remains. At Royal LePage, we can envision a world where our Shelter Foundation is no longer needed because women and children are safe in their homes.
If you’d like to support safer homes and communities, please consider a tax-receiptable donation. 100% of your gift will be directed to the cause.
To learn more about the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, visit rlp.ca/shelter. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please visit sheltersafe.ca for resources and support. Help is just a click away.