As part of Family Violence Prevention Month, the Lloydminster Interval Home Society held their annual Breakfast with the Board.
The event was started nearly seven years ago to help raise awareness of family violence prevention.
“It’s an effort for the board to be able to meet the community, network, and discuss what is happening in the community with our funders, partners and just our friends in the community,” said Angela Rooks-Trotzuk, executive director, Interval Home.
The aim was to bring everyone together to discuss the state of the community, family violence, and how it impacts the community.
“As well as to bring awareness of the Interval Home and what we are doing for November and throughout the year,” said Rooks-Trotzuk.
In relation to family violence, Rooks-Trotzuk said the numbers within the community are still very high.
“We have seen an increase in requests for admission into our shelter,” she added.
In 2015-16, the shelter saw a large rise in requests for admission with 1,700 requests.
For 2016-17 the requests did decrease to 1,300.
“We still get a very high amount of requests for admission to our shelter. Our turn away numbers continue to go up. Of course, that has been the story for a number of years, most significantly in the last five years,” said Rooks-Trotzuk.
Turn away numbers are the people that are requesting shelter, but are not able to be accommodated because the shelter is already at capacity.
Rooks-Trotzuk attributed the peak in 2015-16 to the downturn in the economy.
“I’m not saying stress is a cause of family violence … but factors that are already there in a family dynamic such as power and control issues are magnified when you add outside stressors, which causes may be the increase in frequency or the actual precipitating event,” she explained.
It was announced during the breakfast meeting that the Interval Home has plans to build a bigger shelter to help accommodate the high amount of people who request admission throughout the year.
As of now, they are licensed for up to 21 people at their emergency shelter.
“That’s nowhere near adequate,” added Rooks-Trotzuk.
She noted their occupancy rates match those of Edmonton or Calgary shelters, and how in the new shelter they are looking to go towards 34-38 beds.
“So, not a drastic jump, but we will be able to increase over time,” she said.
They have put an offer into the city to purchase land, and once that is done, the process to get the shelter built will be underway.
It is expected to take three to five years to have it fully completed.
Throughout the morning breakfast, Rooks-Trotzuk said she hoped that if people weren’t completely familiar with the Interval Home, they were able to learn more about the organization.
“I think the most surprising fact (to people) is all of the things that we do in the community. I think people know us either as an emergency shelter for women and children, or they know us as For the Interval Store,” she said.
The society also provides information and services on violence, abuse, homelessness and youth issues.
“We aren’t just an emergency shelter or just a thrift store, we have a whole bunch of programs and services and other facilities that work in that realm to support people,” said Rooks-Trotzuk.
The Interval Home shelter has been in the city for 38 years, as it provides an array of services to the city and continues to evolve throughout the times.