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History of Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter

In November 1984 a letter was published in the Mountaineer calling for a community response to the concern for "the physical safety of women in this community". This initiated the first meeting and in the following 10 years, many more meetings led to the incorporation of The Mountain Rose Women's Shelter Association on September 25, 1990.

A Crisis Phone-line was installed, and 17 volunteer drivers trained during 1992 - all on a budget of about $900. Now we were up and running! Registered as a Charity in 1993, we then contracted a worker from Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter to come to Rocky one day a week.

Highlights of 1994 to 2024:

1994: moved into the office in Presbyterian Church and furniture depot begins

1996: new logo designed and brochure printed

1997: moved to downstairs office and hired one counsellor. Also Safe Ride Program begins

1998: 2 paid employees with office open Monday to Thursdays

1999: Program Coordinator hired

2000: support groups held and major cuts made by funding agencies

2002: announcement that Old Post Office will become affordable housing and a shelter

2003: Website set up and MRWSA becomes a member of Alberta Council of Women's Shelters

2004: operational agreement signed with RCMP; the Community Collaborative Response Team was formed: held Red Rose and White Ribbon Campaigns

2005: December hosted the Grand Opening of the Shelter at the Old Post House

2006: 1st Annual Romance and Roses Gala Fundraiser

2007: The MRWSA's offices moved into the front of the Post House to offer administration and outreach services

2009: MRWSA undertakes a ‘community needs assessment’ for future community needs as related to domestic violence

2010: First Family Fun Raffle conducted as a fundraiser for MRWSA

2011: New Executive Director is hired to lead MRWSA

2012: The first Annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event” held in Rocky and hosted by MRWSA

2013: MRWSA installs new outdoor playground with colourful wall mural for the shelter. MRWSA Board completes Board Governance Training and implements a 5 year strategic plan

2014: MRWSA initiates the “Clearwater County Housing Supports Services” to provide housing supports to homeless and near homeless people in our community. Board of Directors initiate the “New Foundations Campaign: Building Foundations to a Brighter Future” to raise funds to build a new shelter and transition apartments.

2015: MRWSA is governed by an eight-member Board of Directors and employs: 1 Executive Director, Shelter Supervisor, 2 Outreach Workers, 1 Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator, Parent Child Assistant Program, Housing Support Coordinator, 4 Crisis Workers, and 4 Relief Crisis Workers. MRWSA purchased a company vehicle through special grant funding. Conducted Clearwater Housing/Homelessness Needs Assessment.

2016: MRWSA is successful in obtaining CMHC Seed Funding to start process for building a new shelter. Partnerships developed with corporations for specific projects to address needs in rural Alberta (ConocoPhillips, Repsol Oil & Gas). Operational Budget reached $1,000,000 annually.

2017: MRWSA focuses on Fundraising for the new Building. MRWSA opens 2 emergency apartments for 90-day transition to mainstream housing for marginalized families in our community.

2018: MRWSA breaks ground on the new “Clearwater Abuse Prevention Center”. Expected date to open is September 1, 2019.

2019: MRWSA changes the name of the new building to “Mountain Rose Center” and moves in on September 1, 2019 and opens the 10 bed emergency shelter

2020: January 1, 2020: MRWSA fully opens the 22 bed emergency shelter and 5 Second Stage Apartments with the building renamed as the “Mountain Rose Center”. Board of Directors implement a three plan “Board Governance” Project with the aid of an Organizational Consultant.

2021: June 17, 2021: MRWSA is governed by ten member Board of Directors and employs 32 staff members: 1 Executive Director, 1 Residential Supervisor, 2 Outreach Workers, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 Parent Child Assistant Program, 1 Family Supports Coordinator, 1 Child Care Provider, 1 Housing Support Coordinator, 1 Community Engagement Coordinator, 1 2nd Stage Shelter Coordinator, 1 Janitor, 1 Cook, 1 Bookkeeper, 1 Data Coordinator, 1 Resources Coordinator, 10 Crisis Workers, and 6 Relief Crisis Workers.

2022: Board of Directors complete the three-year project to become a strong governance board. Mountain Rose Centre partners with the Rural Development Network in a Canada-wide “Shelter Pulse Project” to develop a centralized policy database for Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters in Canada. Mountain Rose Centre implements a new logo.


2023: MRWSA expands community outreach to Drayton Valley, Caroline, and Sundre through the new Community Outreach Worker position.


2024: MRWSA receives full funding for the 28 beds in the Emergency Shelter. Operational Budget reaches over $2,000,000 annually.

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