Shelter occupancy dips


The occupancy rate at the Rainy River District Women’s Shelter of Hope was down a bit from the previous year.
“[It] was at 78 percent, which is a slight decrease from last year at 79 percent,” executive director Donna Kroocmo noted in her report at the shelter’s annual general meeting last week at La Place Rendez-Vous.
“Safety and security was provided to 52 women and 70 children, down from 59 women and 72 children the previous year,” she reported.
Kroocmo also noted the 24-hour crisis line, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, answered 449 calls for assistance during this past fiscal year, which ran April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015.
“That is down slightly from [the previous] year’s total of 458,” Kroocmo said.
But she added the volume of calls for help verifies the continued need for this vital service.
Kroocmo said the Women’s Emergency Shelter and 2nd Stage Housing had some renovations and improvements completed this past fiscal year, including new cameras and monitoring system, as well as a new fence along the parking lot in the 2nd Stage.
Six new trees also were planted there to commemorate murdered women from the area.
2nd Stage Housing also saw a new washer and dryer, four new refrigerators, and new furniture for three apartments.
The shelter also received a new stackable washer and dryer, along with upgrades to the playground and new equipment.
“It has been over 14 years that I have been experiencing the incredible work that is done at the women’s shelter and 2nd Stage,” Kroocmo said.
“Because of the board, ministry personnel, DSSAB, and staff share the vision that working together to assist women and their children in their quest to live violence-free lives, we have been very successful,” she stressed.
“More work needs to be done,” Kroocmo acknowledged.
“But as long as we continue to share a common goal and vision, I am confident that we will continue on this successful path.”