Event geared towards success of Calgary’s marginalized women

A wide variety of social service organizations are joining together to provide information on services available to homeless and marginalized women in Calgary.

The third annual Women’s Empowerment Night will be held on Oct. 18 at Knox United Church from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and various agencies including health services, Safeworks and the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre are taking part.

Registered dental hygienist Maureen Graham said, “We are aware that there are populations of Albertans that may not know of our services and also how to access them.”

Graham serves on the council for the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta, a regulatory agency that has been a part of Women’s Empowerment Night since its initiation.

“We always enjoy meeting these women and their children and connecting these people with oral healthcare services,” she added.

Kimberly Kavanagh is a medical student at the University of Calgary and is the co-chair of the event.The night will include relaxation and education for homeless or marginalized women. There will be crafts for children, door prizes, massages and much more.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Kavanagh

“As a Calgarian, it’s really important to reach out to everyone in their community — especially if they are having problems with things like housing, employment or are recent immigrants,” Kavanagh said.

Although this event is primarily for women, men are welcome to attend. There will also be a children’s play area at the event so that mothers can take time and focus on their needs.

Amanda St. Laurent is a program manager under community development at CUPS. She attended the event last year and will have a booth again on Oct. 18.

“I just think it’s really important to get out on the front lines and hear some of these women’s stories,” she said.

“There are a lot of these groups that do great things and it’s important for people to know what services are out there so they can improve their lives. It’s a great opportunity for us really to reach out with solidarity and support to everyone in our city,” Kavanagh said.

“I think it’s a really important thing for us to do as a community,” she added.

dleonard@cjournal.ca