YEAR IN REVIEW
We opened the doors of Restoration Place on September 1, 2020. During this first year, we were able to serve women beyond our expectation. We provided shelter for 21 women and 10 children, as well as food, clothing, and personal items when needed, professional counseling, also encouragement and advising to help them become strong, independent women We provided vehicles for 2 women in the shelter to be able to drive to work, and vehicles for 2 domestic violence survivors living independently who needed transportation. We provided furniture and appliances for families who had fled domestic violence, had a place to stay, but no furniture. We assisted one woman, over the course of a few months, in making and carrying out a plan to leave an abusive husband and move into a safe home with her children.
A YEAR OF LEARNING
This has been a year of learning and making adjustments, as each new resident has brought unique issues and needs. Many, although not all, of our residents have come to us with difficult emotional and mental issues. Some of these have been due to recent events in their lives, but some of the women have had lifelong traumas.
One young woman had been abused by her mother until she was four when she and her siblings were removed from the home and placed with a foster family. Due to the desire for reconciling the family, and the size of the sibling group, the child was never adopted, and eventually lived in 11 different foster homes until she turned 18 and aged out of the foster system. Of course, she was vulnerable to abusive partners and had multiple emotional issues. Although we arranged for counselling, we were not able to offer her all of the help that she truly needed.
Another resident had a mother who dealt with mental illness. She and her brother lived in a group home for three years because their mother was not able to care for them. Even after their mother came for them, their lives were chaotic and our resident did not have skills to make good choices. She came to Restoration Place with severe anxiety and depression after an extreme trauma event and has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.
One of our residents lived with her mother sometimes, then her father, back to her mother, finally with grandparents. She has struggled with addictions, been a single mother, homeless, and was living with an abusive partner when she called us. She also deals with anxiety, depression, and possibly bi-polar.
These are a few examples to illustrate the backgrounds that some of the women are dealing with. Free professional counselling is a necessary part of our process for all of our residents. We have also learned that helping some of our residents become truly independent and self-supporting is a long process.
Although the problems that some of the women come to us with can become overwhelming; when we consider their stories, we cannot help but be filled with compassion and understanding. We are committed to provide any assistance that we can to help these women and are encouraged by every step of progress they take.
We are continually amazed by the support we have received and are grateful beyond words for all that our partners have provided for our residents.