Odyssey House says it is helping more women because it is reaching more people.
The Grande Prairie shelter says 464 women and 217 kids stayed at the shelter in the 2016-17 fiscal year. There were 381 women that stayed at the shelter the year before.
Executive Director Ebony Rempel says they are able to reach more people after getting more funding from the province in 2015.
“What that looked like for us was extra position towards our outreach and public education departments, and so, we’re out in the community more, we’re delivering at least 30 presentations out in the schools and at different events and organizations that are happening within our community.”
She adds 464 is the most women they’ve ever had come into Odyssey House.
“We’re now able to access more people, get out to more people and so I think through that awareness, that advocacy, things like Breakfast with the Guys, more people came to that event than they had previous years, all of these things I think that we’re doing are creating an environment that people can come forward.”
Rempel says it does not look like the problem of domestic violence is growing.
“If anything, I think that we have a safer world, a world where we have more inclusivity than we had maybe 30, 40 years ago, so I think more people are coming forward. But, this is just my personal (findings), from literature and research that I have read and stats that I have read. It’s really hard to account for these things.”
Odyssey House has a couple events coming up this month.
It will host its first annual Night of Empowerment October 21. Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell will be the guest speaker.
The annual Breakfast with the Guys will take place Hallowe’en morning at GPRC. It is free for anyone who wants to go. Men and women are invited.
More information is available on the Odyssey House Facebook page.