Women's shelter celebrates 35 years with new campaign

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May 5, 2015 8:15 AM

Alex Chippin Photo Lloydminster Interval Home celebrated its 35th anniversary at its store on April 30. The Interval Store sells "gently used" clothing and items and uses the proceeds to serve women and children affected by family violence. - Alex Chippin Photo

Lloydminster Interval Home is celebrating its work in the community over the last 35 years by looking ahead to the next 35 years.

“We’re trying to create a culture of positivity,” said Angela Rooks-Trotzuk, the executive director for the shelter. “We hear a lot, ‘Oh that must be awful to work where you work,’ and yeah, we hear some pretty traumatic things and the people that come to us are in crisis and dealing with the worst time of their life, but within that there’s inspiration.”

As part of its 35-year anniversary celebration, the Interval Home women’s shelter has introduced the #InspireYLL social media campaign. The project challenges residents of the Border City and surrounding areas to upload a photo of anything they find inspiring to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a description of the picture and the hashtag InspireYLL.

The organization also encourages posters to tag Lloydminster Interval Home and use #LIH35 in the caption. The person whose photo receives the most “likes” will receive a free lunch for four at The Root: Community Emporium. The contest winner will be announced on June 23.

Lloydminster Interval Home supports women and children affected by family violence and homelessness, and works to prevent it by teaching people about building healthy relationships.

Despite seeing the social world take steps over the last several years to bring awareness to violence against women, around 80 per cent of reported incidents of domestic violence are still against women and perpetrated by men.

“We’re not going to eradicate violence without being a community. It’s going to be us working together to build up that positivity, to build up each other,” said Kimberly Jensen, the organization’s public education co-ordinator.

In addition to a 21-bed emergency shelter, the Interval Home agency uses a second-stage apartment building to house homeless women and children for up to one year.

See “Interval Home,” Page 13

“When you talk about homelessness, people often think of a male living on the street, who may have mental health issues or addiction issues,” Rooks-Trotzuk said. “There’s another angle of homelessness and that is women and children that are fleeing domestic violence.

“Every support system, every structure that’s in place to support homelessness is built around that image because that’s typically who you visually see on the street. Women who are homeless are typically in an emergency shelter because they typically have care of the children.”

Although the #InspireYLL campaign won’t directly stop family violence, the Interval Home hopes that establishing a certain culture will contribute to a healthier society long term.

“To achieve positivity, to achieve uplifting in the community and to also have unity amongst organizations,” said Jensen. “That we are all working towards having a stronger and healthier community. That’s really the biggest goal, and then of course, to celebrate our presence in the community of 35 years.”

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