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Summers are often times for family reunions. This is always the case at Interval House: each summer, we host a special reunion event for residents and ex-residents to reconnect and celebrate.
This year, we decided to go to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) for our special summer event. Current and past residents from Interval House joined our counsellors at the CNE a few weeks ago for a day of fun in the sun. For many of the women and kids, it was their first trip to this classic Toronto family tradition.
It was a hot day, and the kids had a blast going on rides and playing games. The group explored the many goods for sale at the International Pavilion, where Children’s Counsellor Fred picked up some lanterns to bring back to the shelter for a craft activity. And everyone marveled over the spectacular sculptures on display at the international sand sculpting competition.
The favourite part of the day, though, was heading to the exhibition’s skating rink, where everyone cooled off and watched the amazing aerial acrobatics and skating show, featuring Olympic figure skaters.
The annual Interval House summer event is a big highlight for women who have experienced abuse, because it means that they have a chance to feel part of a supportive community. For many survivors of violence, isolation from their social network is a big hurdle.
That’s why it’s so important for us at Interval House to keep in touch with families who move out of the shelter, to make sure that they’re on the road to success and have all the tools and supports they need. In addition to the annual summer event, we host a holiday party for ex-residents every December, and our Resettlement Worker schedules home visits with past residents to check in regularly.
This year, it looks like our summer visit to the Ex was a big success. We’ll see what next year has in store!