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Shelter is needed

Women in the area who are looking for a place to escape from an abusive relationship will soon have a place to go.

Women in the area who are looking for a place to escape from an abusive relationship will soon have a place to go.

Sparrow’s Hope will open its doors by month’s end, and staff members are ready to help women looking to improve their situation in life. While the six-bed facility will not be able to house the number of women who are actually in abusive relationships, it’s a good start and a step in the right direction.

The fact that there is a need for such a shelter in the first place is a shame, but the sad reality of it is Alberta’s domestic violence shelters accommodated more than 6,000 women and nearly 6,000 children from April 2009 to March 2010, according to the Alberta Council for Women’s Shelter. During that time period nearly 10,000 women and more than 6,000 children were unable to find shelter because of lack of space.

Women who find themselves trapped in an abusive relationship endure the pain and humility for numerous reasons, one of which is the fact they have nowhere else to go. With facilities like Sparrow’s Hope opening its doors, those women are given avenues in which to escape and start a new life.

Luckily, Sparrow’s Hope has received a great deal of support already. A Barrhead person has committed to covering the facility’s utility bills for its first two years of operation. This is obviously a person who cares a great deal about his or her community, and about the welfare of its residents. Given the fact the shelter is expected to have $1,000 worth of utility bills a month, the generosity of that individual will go a long way in providing a safe haven for battered women.

Barrhead residents are well known for being generous when it comes to supporting their own. Unfortunately, women who suffer abuse at the hands of another person are usually not seeking attention. Abuse is something not widely discussed, so it’s difficult to raise money for people who are suffering.

Now, with a visible entity such as Sparrow’s Hope, one can’t help but notice the need for its services. Hopefully, this will inspire others to action, and enough funds flow into the facility to keep its doors open for the long term.

Security and comfort are the main goals of Sparrow’s Hope, and the people who have been tasked with setting up the shelter have stressed that in its design. Sparrow’s Hope is full of warm colours and a lot of wood, and all the common areas are wide open and inviting.

Sparrow’s Hope has a large living room, an open kitchen and dining room, and an area in the basement that will be set up as a children’s play area. There will also be computers the residents can use to look for accommodations, prepare resumes or otherwise keep them occupied.

Anyone interested in donating to the shelter can call 780-349-6464 or purchase an item on the Sparrow’s Hope registry at the Home Hardware in Barr-head

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