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The end of the year calls for reflection. It's a time to celebrate and revisit the successes and trials of the year past and share those moments with those around us.
2014 marked Interval House’s 41st year helping women reshape their lives in face of violence and abuse. A year fraught with gender-based violence in the media, 2014 also stirred conversation and quashed some taboos, allowing the issue of abuse to enter the public mindset. At Interval House, we are always striving to encourage not only conversation, but also empowerment, and 2014 was no exception.
In 2014, we housed 69 women and 71 children. Our holistic empowerment program, B.E.S.S, gave 47 women the confidence and tools needed to be self-sufficient. The average age of a child living at Interval House has dropped, over the past several years, from 10 to 4, meaning that women are escaping abuse earlier, and their children are more likely to break the cycle of violence as they grow.
This year we also hosted 10 housing seminars and expanded our housing project, to Hamilton and Ottawa, connecting victims of abuse with private-sector landlords willing to provide them with rent-geared-to-income units. And in October we launched an online video, taking a scene of violence portrayed in the media, and adding an alternate ending, one where support and help is offered swiftly and without hesitance.
The highlights of 2014 are many, and 2015 looks to be even brighter. Our hopes for the new year? New additions to the Interval House team and home. As we expand on our programming, the need for help grows, and we hope to hire an additional counsellor this upcoming year, so to provide residents, both current and former, with the help and advice they need. And as with any bustling home, some rooms need an upgrade every so often. This year, we hope to add a few new appliances to our busy kitchen, overhauling those that have been there since the beginning.
The dawn of a new year is an exciting time and as 2014 comes to an end we want to thank all of you, our supporters, donors, and volunteers, who made this year a success. Happy New Year!