Media Release

Rowan House Receives Funding for Safe at Home Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rowan House Launches Work on Safe at Home Project
New pilot project to test innovative approach to housing for rural victims of domestic violence

New - Purple - Web.png

High River, AB, June 4, 2019 – Rowan House Society is ready to begin development of a new project in Claresholm, thanks to a significant grant from Status of Women Canada’s Department for Women and Gender Equality.

The federal government recently committed a total of $731,289 over a four-year period, allowing the Society to develop, implement and evaluate the new Safe at Home (SAH) program, focusing on supports for women living in rural and remote communities.

In this new approach, incidences of domestic violence are identified, usually by RCMP, and the perpetrator is (either voluntarily or involuntarily) removed from the home and provided with temporary housing and counselling to address his behaviours. Meanwhile, it provides more stability for the victims of abuse, as the women and children get to remain safe in their own homes and communities while also receiving supports from the Society as needed.

“When women and children leave an abusive situation, their whole lives are typically uprooted while little changes for their abuser, who may continue the cycle of violence with his next partner,” said Rowan House Chief Operating Officer, Timmi Shorr.  “One of the reasons this project is so exciting, is it actually addresses the root cause of domestic violence and works to ensure that cycle of violence is broken.”

Shorr explained the project will be tested in Claresholm as families in rural/remote areas typically have a harder time accessing domestic violence services, and service providers in the town were immediately responsive to the idea and interested in making it available to their community members.

The Society will be working with its partners to finalize project details over the next several months and anticipate implementing the program in April 2020. 

Rowan House’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities. In doing so, we work to fulfill our vision: that every person is safe and secure and lives without abuse.

 

For more information, please contact:
Timmi Shorr
Chief Operating Officer, Rowan House Society
D: 403-603-5986
C: 403-336-5192
E: timmis@rowanhouse.ca

Search for New Executive Director Has Ended

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rowan House Announces Hiring of New Chief Operating Officer
Interim-Executive Director, Timmi Shorr to continue on with the Society in newly created leadership role

New - Purple - Web.png

High River, AB, June 4, 2019 – Rowan House Society is pleased to announce Interim-Executive Director, Timmi Shorr has officially accepted the permanent position of Chief Operating Officer.

The Board created the new role with the firm belief it’s what’s needed for where the Society is at right now.  “This role reflects the direction the Society is moving with our exciting new initiatives, such as the Safe at Home Project and the Second Stage Housing project”, said Board Chair, Chris Tulloch. “We need a strong business model to manage the expansion of Rowan House with a hands-on approach that ensures it’s not to the detriment of our current programs and services that are so important.”

Shorr has lived and worked in the local region for over 10 years. Her entire career has been in the non-profit sector with experience in business, fundraising, volunteers, education and mental health. Tulloch said, “As Interim-Executive Director, Timmi has certainly risen to the challenge of leading Rowan House just a few short months after joining the organization. We look forward to working with her in this new role.”

Shorr said she’s excited for the opportunity to continue developing the relationships she’s started to build since joining Rowan House in December and looks forward to collaborating with community partners to support women and children in need. 

Rowan House’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities. In doing so, we work to fulfill our vision: that every person is safe and secure and lives without abuse.

For more information, please contact:
Chris Tulloch
Board Chair, Rowan House Society
chair@rowanhouse.ca

Interim Executive Director Appointment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rowan House Appoints New Interim Executive Director
Society Focusing on Launch of Second Stage Shelter Project

New - Purple - Web.png

High River, AB, March 4, 2019 – Rowan House Society is pleased to announce that Timmi Shorr has been appointed Interim Executive Director, while a permanent replacement is recruited.

The focus will be on the much-anticipated launch of the second stage shelter project in Okotoks.  “We’re excited to be moving into a new phase with the second stage shelter, as well as other projects to make the transition out of the emergency shelter easier for the women and children we serve," said Board Chair, Chris Tulloch.  He added, “We’d like to recognize the valuable contributions our former Executive Director, Sherrie Botten, made, and wish her well in her future endeavours.”

The second stage shelter is a housing development where women and their children can transition from the emergency shelter to living on their own with the continued support of the counsellors and resources of Rowan House. “Access to safe, affordable housing is a significant barrier for women, who are often faced with a life of poverty or returning to their abusive partners,” Tulloch explains. “Having longer-term support will serve to provide a stronger foundation for clients moving out of domestic violence situations.”

Rowan House Society is actively involved with several other initiatives to eliminate violence against women and children and would like to thank the community for its continued support as we continue toward that goal.

 

Rowan House’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities. In doing so, we work to fulfill our vision: that every person is safe and secure and lives without abuse.

 

For more information, please contact:
Chris Tulloch
Board Chair, Rowan House Society
chair@rowanhouse.ca

Shelters of the Future Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rowan House Society Brings Voice to Shelters of the Future Conference
Local emergency shelter presents at 1st National Conference of Women’s Shelters in Ottawa

New - Purple - Web.png

High River, AB, June 12, 2018 – Rowan House Society is making its voice heard at a conference being put on by Women’s Shelters Canada June 13-15, 2018. The conference is the first of its kind in Canada, providing an opportunity for crisis and transitional housing shelter staff to come together to make a difference for women and children affected by domestic violence.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to network and learn from our sister shelters and see how they are doing things across the country,” said Rowan House Executive Director, Sherrie Botten. “We are also excited to be one of the shelters to present on our work.” Botten is slated to present on Removing Barriers to Service: The Journey to a Trauma Informed Practice and The Impact of Second Stage Housing Services, while Janna, Children’s Program Team Lead, will be co-presenting as part of an Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) committee on The Healing Brain: How Children’s Programs Can Improve Effectiveness Through Integrating Brain Science.

Attendees will also be working to affect real change. “Being that the conference is in Ottawa,” explained Botten, “We will have the chance to meet with ministers involved in Housing, Justice, Immigration, Indigenous Affairs, Finance and the Status of Women, to discuss challenges facing the domestic violence services sector.”

Rowan House’s attendance at the conference was made possible through a Government of Alberta Status of Women community grant.

Rowan House’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities. In doing so, we work to fulfill our vision: that every person is safe and secure and lives without abuse.

For more information contact:
Sherrie Botten
Executive Director,
C: 403-990-7594
E: director@rowanhouse.ca

November is Family Violence Prevention Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ROWAN HOUSE LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN FOR FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION MONTH
Emergency Shelter looking to public to #LaceUpForRowanHouse
and start conversations about domestic violence

New - Purple - Web.png

High River, AB, October 25, 2017 – Rowan House Society is expanding on its annual Purple Ribbon Campaign in an effort to get the public talking more about domestic violence. This year, Foothills residents are encouraged to pick up a pair of free purple shoelaces and wear them for the month of November to show their solidarity in supporting women and children affected by family violence.

“We are looking to move from a visual statement on the street to something that creates conversations in homes, businesses and schools,” explains Rowan House Executive Director, Sherrie Botten. “It is our hope that if people notice someone wearing these bright coloured laces, they might get asked about them and be able to start a dialogue on why they chose to take a stand against gender-based violence.”

The Society is using the hashtag #LaceUpForRowanHouse so people who are wearing the shoelaces can share their stories and pictures on social media. They can also add a temporary Facebook Frame to their profile pictures.

Regular purple ribbons and information cards will also still populate the downtown streets of High River and Okotoks as they have the last few years.

Botten says it’s going to be a very busy month for staff at Rowan House. “In addition to making the public more aware about domestic violence happening in our community, we’re giving them many opportunities to learn more about what it is exactly, how it affects families and what we all can do about it”.

Free DV 101 and Leading Change workshops will be offered throughout the month, as well as a free screening of the prize-winning documentary, “A Better Man” – where 20 years after fleeing an abusive relationship, filmmaker, Attiya Khan confronts her abuser, Steve, who agrees to talk about their past on camera, creating a unique dialogue on domestic violence.

Full details for all events can be found at www.rowanhouse.ca/events.

Shoelaces can be picked up at Sun Country 99.7 studios in High River, while supplies last.

Rowan House’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities. In doing so, we work to fulfill our vision: that every person is safe and secure and lives without abuse.

For more information contact:
Ally Cramm
Community Relations Coordinator
D: 403-603-5999 (Tues-Fri)
E: allyc@rowanhouse.ca

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]

-30-

Read the report: A Safe Path Home

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