September/October 2017 Newsletter

Rowan House Society’s latest newsletter is ready for your reading pleasure.

Inside this issue: New developments in Transitional Housing, details on how to support Rowan House in the Aviva Community Fund Contest and preparations for Family Violence Prevention Month.

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Defining Homelessness in the Face of Domestic Abuse

The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS), together with 16 of its members (including Rowan House), have published a report on second-stage shelters. It includes recommendations that government can implement to address homelessness related to domestic abuse. Below is a media release from ACWS explaining the importance of this report.

Media Release
August 30, 2017

ACWS Logo.gif

Report: Invest in women’s shelters to solve women’s homelessness

EDMONTON, AB–The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters together with sixteen of their members have published a report: A Safe Path Home, based on their collaborative work over the last two years. The report highlights the work of second-stage women’s shelters in Alberta and provides practical recommendations that government can implement to support women and children who have become homeless due to domestic abuse.

Jan Reimer, ACWS Executive Director, says current definitions of homelessness need to change: “When women flee violence at home, they are homeless. These women may not fit into traditional understandings of homelessness, but when the choice they face is between violence at home, the risk of violence on the streets or in homeless shelters, plus the risk of losing their children to foster care or to their abuser – it is clear their need is acute.” 

Reimer said she would like to see Alberta housing services follow the example of other provinces that give special priority to victims of domestic violence. British Columbia, for example, has a priority placement housing program for women fleeing violence — and second-stage women’s shelters are built into their housing strategy. 

“The fact is, current affordable housing and homeless shelters are not always tailored to support women and children fleeing violence,” Reimer said. “Second-stage women’s shelters are the only long-term housing supports that offer their expertise in creating safety from domestic abusers, trauma and violence informed care, wrap-around supports and specialized children’s programming.”

Provincial funding announced in 2015 allowed second-stage women’s shelters to significantly strengthen their service offerings (all but two shelters previously operated without any government funding at all). Shelters were able to develop new programs, increase the scope of outreach services, hire child trauma counsellors and expand child-focused services. Ongoing investment will be needed to sustain these changes. 

Second-stage shelters can boast some strong outcomes based on recent data. At the end of their stay in shelter, 87% of women were able to achieve progress towards their goals and over 80% were satisfied with services they received. While a staggering 67% of women were homeless upon entering shelter, only 9% were moving into unstable housing/homelessness upon exiting. More than half of women (55%) were moving into stable housing at the end of their stay.

[BC Housing Priority Placement Program: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/women-fleeing-violence/priority-placement-program]

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Read the report: A Safe Path Home

Community Host Homes Recruitment

Each year, Rowan House Society provides crisis emergency services to over 200 women with children fleeing domestic violence.  These women live in our communities - Okotoks, High River, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Claresholm and all surrounding areas.  All too often, these women and children return to the abusive home when they leave the emergency shelter because there is nowhere else for them to go.

Rowan House is developing a new program, called Community Host Homes, to address this problem.  The program involves community members opening their homes to women and children leaving domestic abuse, providing them with a safe and stable place to reside as they transition to independent and violence free lives in the community.

This program is being developed to be flexible while ensuring the needs of both the hosts and hosted families are met.  Training will be provided to the host homes, families will be matched according to specific needs and, both the host and hosted families will be supported by Rowan House staff.

Rowan House needs your help to make this program a success.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity to serve people in your community, please contact Brigitte Baradoy at 403.850.0585 or brigitteb@rowanhouse.ca

Rowan House Launches New Branding and Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ROWAN HOUSE LAUNCHES NEW BRANDING AND WEBSITE
Society uses frustrating situation to focus on exciting things that lay ahead for the organization
 

Rowan House is more than just an emergency shelter

Rowan House is more than just an emergency shelter

High River, AB May 29, 2017 – Visitors to Rowan House Society’s website, may notice a few changes. The site had been down for approximately two months while it was being rebuilt after a deep hacking incident and they used the opportunity to design a new logo as well.

The shelter will celebrate five years in High River this July and felt the timing was right. “We have seen a lot of growth over the last five years and are so much more than just an emergency shelter,” explained Executive Director, Sherrie Botten. “Our Outreach program has expanded, we’ve started a Transitional Housing program that’s still growing, and we are offering a wider variety of services for the general public through our Preventative Education.”

The society operating Rowan House Emergency Shelter changed its name in 2013 from Region 3 Family Based Care Society to the clearer, Rowan House Society, however, decided to stick with the shelter’s branding. Then when the hacking happened, their website developer asked about the logo and Botten said she felt it was a good time to start focusing on the Society as a whole and all it has to offer.

“We are very excited about the changes and we just want to thank everyone for their patience while the work was taking place,” she added.

To learn more about Rowan House’s history or to check out the changes, visit www.rowanhouse.ca.

 

Rowan House provides crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities.

For more information, contact:

Sherrie Botten,
Executive Director
Rowan House Society
Direct: 403-603-5992
Cell: 403-990-7594
director@rowanhouse.ca

Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink

Event Date: August 30th – September 3rd, 2017

Rowan House Emergency Shelter is thrilled to announce we have once again been selected as a participating charity in Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink.

Why are we so excited about this, you ask? Well, Birdies for Kids is a non-profit program run under the Shaw Charity Classic Foundation. Rowan House will receive 100% of every donation directed through this program and all donations are matched up to 50% - stretching your support even further!

The program runs now through the end of the Shaw Charity Classic, Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 11:59:59pm MT. If you were considering making a donation, here’s an opportunity to increase your impact. Funds raised through Birdies for Kids are directed to our Branches Preventative Education Program

Help break the cycle of violence.

Donate online or fill out the PDF Pledge Card and email it to: birdies@shawcharityclassic.com.

Give the Gift of Soup

Soup Sisters and the Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society have teamed up to make soup for Rowan House Emergency Shelter.

Come enjoy an afternoon filled with lively conversation, chopping, laughter and warm kitchen camaraderie that culminate in a simple, sit-down meal of soup, salad, bread and wine for all participants. Each event produces approximately 200 servings of fresh soup that goes directly to Rowan House where it is enjoyed by residents, Outreach clients and Healthy Relationship Group participants.

Turn your next team building event or social gathering into a do good, feel good activity!

Upcoming Dates:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

All events run from 1-4pm at the Millarville Race Track

For more information or to book a soup making event contact millarville@soupsisters.org

Soup Sisters charges a $55 participation fee per person to cover the expenses of ingredients for the soups, the venue and equipment. This ensures that the best ingredients possible are used every time for the soup we provide to women, children and youth.