Founded in Toronto on April 2, 2016, Shelter Movers was born out of a realization that Canada lacks assistance for domestic violence victims, mainly women and children, to physically leave their situation.

Shelter Movers has now opened a Vancouver chapter as of August 2018.

Many of us have either experienced domestic violence, have close family or friends that have, or even have heard it through the walls of our apartments. If you’re deeply entrenched in an abusive relationship, it can be a serious struggle to find the confidence to leave, and Shelter Movers, through the help of their 150+ volunteers, are helping these individuals and families physically move into other living arrangements.

“Women are on their own to make the decision to leave [an abusive relationship], to figure out the logistics and economics of getting out,” Brian Vidler, director of Shelter Movers Vancouver, told the Straight in a recent interview.

A few staggering stats that can be found on Shelter Mover’s websites:

  • One woman is killed by her intimate partner every six days
  • 1/5 women experience some sort of abuse in their spousal relationship
  • $4.2 billion is the annual cost to the country of violence against women

It is these reasons that Brian Vidler and his team of volunteers have created 3 main services:

  1. Urgent Exit – The client is safely transported to shelter or other safe space.
  2. Escorted Move – Volunteers escort the client to households with security accompaniment to retrieve personal effects.
  3. Resettlement – Volunteers transport client and belongings to the client’s new home.

To date they’ve been able to help over 350 people escape their abusive realities, and safely transition to a brighter future.

Shelter Movers just began their work in August 2018 in Vancouver and hopes to gain momentum quickly with the help of the community and partner organizations.

To get involved visit