Shelter Movers

Shelter Movers is a federally incorporated, volunteer-based non-profit organization that provides free moving and storage services to women and children fleeing in Toronto and Ottawa. Shelter Movers collaborates with women’s shelters, local businesses and law enforcement to support families transitioning to a life free of violence. Our vision is a Canada where fleeing abuse is easier, safer and better supported. 

The Need

  • Fleeing abuse is a very difficult decision for survivors. Women face losing everything they own.
  • On any given night, more than 6,000 women will take refuge in an emergency shelter in Canada. 
  • Most shelters impose a 2 bag limit on the belongings women can bring with them. 
  • Each year, violence against women costs Canadians more than twice that of gun violence. 

Our Solution: Having completed +300 moves since establishing in 2016, Shelter Movers has developed a proven model that is having a real impact on the lives of survivors and their kids. Our service relies on the energy and commitment of over 200 volunteers in Toronto and Ottawa. 3 types of moves are offered, depending on the survivor’s needs:

(1) Urgent Exit
Volunteers and security personnel/ police transport the client and kids from the abusive household to a confidentially-located shelter that has agreed to receive them.

(2) Escorted Move
Volunteers and security personnel/ police return with the client to the former home to pack belongings, which we store at no charge. 

(3) Resettlement
Volunteers transport client, kids and their stored belongings from the shelter to the new home.