Red heels mean helping a good cause

Women in distress in the Leduc, Wetaskiwin, Millet and Maskwacis areas have a great resource that helps keep them safe and secure...

Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear

Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear

Women in distress in the Leduc, Wetaskiwin, Millet and Maskwacis areas have a great resource that helps keep them safe and secure. But sometimes those resources need some help too.

The Camrose Women’s Shelter, which offers accommodation and support for women and children in abusive or violent situations, relies on grants and donations to offer their valuable services. To raise funds, the shelter is organizing a “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event during the Big Valley Jamboree later this month.

“Walk a Mile in her Shoes” involves men who step forward, to show support for women and children in abusive situations, to collect pledges, then literally walk 1.6 km in a set of ruby-red high heels to see things from a different perspective.

A visit to the shelter in Camrose clearly shows the benefits this organization offers to women from this region. Also visiting was Riseup Society of Alberta executive director Jacqueline Biollo from Leduc.

Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear gave out-of-town guests a tour of the shelter July 7. The shelter is very careful about photography; a woman at the shelter could be in physical danger, and published photos could give an attacker the information needed to find her. Also, the shelter is not identified in any way on its exterior.

Ground floor

The shelter’s ground floor has the crisis intervention workers who are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The crisis workers make assessments and also offer help with jobs, education and more. There is no fee for service at the shelter. However, intake depends on occupancy, so Rear said calling ahead is helpful for screening and preparation.

Women can stay at the shelter for up to 21 days, and extensions are possible. The ground floor also has a kitchen, playroom, dining room and living room.

“It’s a delicate balance between being almost an institution and a home,” said Rear.

Second floor

The shelter’s second floor holds 22 beds in a number of bedrooms plus communal bathrooms. Rear said the average age of clients is difficult to pin down, although two general ages seem familiar. She said one demographic seems to be a young woman in her early 20’s, the second an older woman between the ages of 45 and 55.

Rear noted the shelter has no ability to handle clients with addiction issues. “We have a zero tolerance,” said Rear.

The shelter’s outreach program is located on the second floor. The worker can help with the search for housing, often a major job for a woman who has been married her entire life. Outreach also includes education in the community, and the worker also maintains relationships with other agencies. In addition, the outreach worker can also meet one-on-one with clients.

Lower level

The lower level of the shelter holds the pantry, serenity room where clients can get some quiet time, donations room, TV room, licensed childcare and a Gr. 1 to 9 school, which is staffed by a teacher provided by Battle River School Division. Some of the programs offered include early literacy, yoga, crafts and pet therapy and the shelter even has a partnership with a hair salon.

Pipestone Flyer editor Stu Salkeld is participating in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to raise money for the Camrose Women’s Shelter. The walk will be held July 28 in Camrose, as part of the opening of this year’s Big Valley Jamboree. Rear noted that proceeds from this year’s event will be used to provide a new roof for the shelter.

If you would like to sponsor the editor, drop by the newspaper office on Hwy #2A in Millet. Donations of $20 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin launches Whistle-blower Program

Whistle-blower program acts as anonymous forum to hold local government accountable

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Most Read