Stepping Stones is a non-profit organization who offers:
A 27 bed emergency shelter dedicated to assisting women and their children in need of short-term emergency accommodations.
Joie’s Phoenix House, a Second Stage Women’s Shelter Program, offering safe, affordable housing and programming to families choosing to leave an abusive relationship.
A community support program that offers 1:1 supports to all women who are struggling with an unhealthy or abusive relationship or have left one.
Public Education, bringing community awareness and education about Family Violence to the Lakeland area.
A 24-hour helpline offering confidential support, information, and referrals to anyone who calls.
The History of Stepping Stones
The Issue of battered women was first identified locally by the Grand Kinosoo Community Council of Concerned Citizens, the Four C’ers, in 1979. Early in 1981, a study regarding the need for a women’s shelter was undertaken with input obtained from all the “helping agencies” in the community. The number of battered and abused women was found to be high and as a result, a volunteer committee was formed involving the Four C’ers, Alberta Social Services, Community Health and Preventative Social Services. This committee began working on the establishment of a shelter.
The centre itself opened in September of 1982, and was run on a volunteer basis until March 1983 when staff were hired. The Dr. Margaret Savage Women’s Crisis Centre Society was registered with the provincial government in March 1993. The organization later rebranded to Stepping Stones Crisis Society in 2022 to reflect the growing scope of services offered to the community.
A ten-member Board of Directors was established under the auspices of the Four C’ers, but subsequently functions independently and is responsible for the operation and promotion of the centre.
About DR. Ella Margaret Strang Savage
The centre was named in honour of Dr. Ella Margaret Strang Savage who was born in 1907. She graduated from medical school in 1929 and was the only woman in her graduating class. She was appointed by the Presbyterian Home Mission as the physician for the Alberta Peace Country.
She moved to Cold Lake in the mid 1940’s. Appointed by the Women’s Missionary Society as a doctor to John Neil Hospital, Dr. Savage’s practice included Cold Lake, Grand Centre, Riverhurst, Ethel Lake, Beaver Crossing, Cherry Grove, Elizabeth Settlement, Le Goff Reserve and Pierceland, Saskatchewan.
In addition to her medical duties, Dr. Savage served as a minister of the United Church as well as establishing several youth groups such as Sunday Schools, Trail Ranges and Wolf Cubs. Her remarkable energy enabled her to play an active role in the establishment of the John Neil Hospital, the nurses’ residence, and the United Church Manse.
Her courage and determination remain an inspiration long after her passing in 1970. She was named Physician of the Century in 2006 and we commemorate her and the incredible work she accomplished within our organization.
How to Help
Prevention of family violence through public awareness, outreach and supports.
Shelter for over...
Women in Need
- Provide safe and secure shelter and support to women and children in crisis.
- Assist individuals and families by providing resources and advocacy.
- Educate the public and create partnerships to prevent family violence and build stronger communities.
Safe Bed Nights
Our Core Values
Offer support without judgement.
Being respectful in everything we do and showing respect to all.
Our staff supportively imparting information and resources to best assist our clients.
Respecting a variety of cultures, lifestyles and beliefs.
Encourage growth and awareness to create change.
Do you want to make a difference?
Your donation is absolutely critical to our efforts in helping women affected by domestic abuse.