Women in Need Society opens inner city location

The Women In Need Society has opened its newest store in southeast Calgary.

The Calgary Women in Need Society (WINS) celebrated a significant milestone Friday, opening several services in the Beltline.

Located at the former headquarters of Trico Homes, the Beltline location houses a WINS Store, donation bay and a WINS Program Centre.

Similar to other WINS locations, the thrift store features gently-used clothing, shoes and home items. An adjacent donation bay will collect and redistribute donations to those in need, while other items will be sold through the thrift enterprises.

The program centre is oriented towards aiding women and their families through services and programming.

“The Beltline is an area of the city that has a diverse population,” said Karen Ramchuk, CEO and president of WINS. “There are a lot of families here, and it’s an area that has been hit hard by the pandemic. You can see behind the scenes, when you go down the alleys here, people are in trouble, so we are very pleased to be here to help and try to make a difference.”

Citing the growing demand for resources such as those offered by WINS, Ramchuk indicated there has been a sharp rise since the onset of the pandemic.

“Calgary has been hit hard from a poverty basis, we have close to 190,000 people now living in poverty in our city. Additionally, the need for support from our resource centres has gone up 25 to 40 per cent from pre-pandemic numbers,” said Ramchuk.

Eighty-four cents from every dollar of revenue is directed towards community services and programs. Ramchuk said this model of retail can provide an avenue of community investment for those looking for a way to contribute.

“It’s a way for people to give back that they might not have thought of before. If people have gently used items they would like to donate, it gives us the ability pass those items along to families in need, or sell them in our store where the revenue is redistributed to fund our programs.”

WINS now has six thrift stores throughout Calgary, in addition to the More Store located in the southeast.

With the onset of fall weather and colder temperatures, WINS officials are expecting a growing demand for winter coats, boots and accessories for both adults and children.

The WINS Beltline location is at 1005 11 Ave. S.W. More information can be found at www.winsyyc.ca.