The town of Claresholm is home to a unique program for rural communities.
Rowan House Society runs the Safe at Home project, which helps people dealing with domestic abuse.
After launching almost a year ago, Claresholm town council released an update on the program earlier this month.
Safe at Home program director Nara Fedozzi said the response so far has been positive. She added the location made it a good fit for the show.
“Claresholm is a local, central location between two very busy and large cities, Lethbridge and Calgary,” said Fedozzi.
She said some referrals have come from both of those cities.
The goal of the program is to help treat abusive behavior. Fedozzi says the strategy is to remove the abuser from the home to address their behavior while affected family members stay in their home.
“The program lasts up to a year, so we have three phases in our program when customers sign up for our plan,” she added. “There’s an intake process and we do a bunch of reviews.”
Claresholm Mayor Chelsae Petrovic said the update was encouraging as the testimonies she had heard were all very positive. Having a four-year pilot project, funded by the federal government, is a great resource for the community and anyone needs to be provided with services like these, she said.
“To have it right in our backyard and be the first of its kind, and for us as a community to support it, that’s been inspiring,” she added.
Mr. Petrovic said having programs like Safe at Home and making the community aware of ongoing issues is helping to remove the stigma around domestic violence.
“I hope (by) having this Safe at Home project in our community we can be at the forefront of” Let’s talk about it. Let’s understand where it comes from,” said Petrovic.
Fedozzi said the focus is on healing the entire family. At an off-site facility, participants receive education and support to address the root causes of their behaviors. Their partners and children stay in their homes and work with the outreach team to ensure their safety.
Transitional housing, which is Phase 1, is a minimum of four weeks, with the possibility of an extension depending on individual circumstances.
Phase 2 is 10 weeks, focusing on group sessions.
In the final phase, which lasted eight months, there were facilitated group sessions.
So far, six clients have experienced the transitional home in Claresholm, Fedozzi said. There is also an online option that about 40 customers have visited. The entire program is free.
For more information about the program or to apply, you can call 403-468-2042 or email email@example.com.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, Call 911, the Domestic Violence Information Line at 310-1818, the Provincial Abuse Helpline 1-855-443-5722 or the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-387-5437.
Alberta Health Services has resources for get through tough times.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8602341/safe-at-home-claresholm/ The Safe at Home project in Claresholm is about to celebrate its 1 year anniversary – Lethbridge