Safe Transitions

Joanna MacDonald established Safe Transitions in 2020 out of the urgent need for relief of over-run shelters. This not-for-profit exists to help women and children move out of shelters and into their own home. Victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking are among the most vulnerable people in our communities, and often do not get the attention they deserve. 

Shelters are inundated with an increased requirement for safe housing. Safe Transitions acts as an intermediary organization connecting shelters with landlords who will provide subsidized and affordable homes for long term individuals ready to begin their transition to a new beginning.


For some, home is not a safe place. Some unsettling information shows the staggering rise in domestic violence cases since the Canadian government enforced the “stay home” guidelines. Lives are at risk but due to overcrowding, shelters have been forced to turn people away – back home to their abusers.

  • In any given night, about 300 women and children are turned away because there are no beds. It is expected that the COVID-19 outbreak will make things worse. – Canadian Women’s Foundation (April 8, 2020)

  • Domestic violence incidents grew by 22 per cent. In the last 30 days, York Regional Police Officers have responded to nearly 700 domestic incidents. - York Regional Police (April 8, 2020)

  • Traffic to has doubled since March 2020.

  • Staff have seen a 300 percent increase in calls over the last three weeks. Forty percent of callers are reaching out for the first time. - Vancouver’s Battered Women’s Support Services (April 7, 2020)

  • In the past month, there have been nine domestic violence cases resulting in lethality across Canada. - Vancouver’s Battered Women’s Support Services (May 6, 2020)

For more information or to donate directly to Safe Transitions, please visit