True North is an organization dedicated to supporting all individuals impacted by domestic violence. True North provides short-term emergency shelter, community programming, supportive counselling, referral, and advocacy.
Our Vision: Interrupting the cycle of abuse through empowerment to create a safe environment for all.
True North is committed to helping build a safe and secure community free from abuse. We aim to help prevent abuse through education and community programming, reduce the recurrence of violence through counselling and support programs, and respond to abuse by assisting survivors in building the skills and confidence needed to live independently.
Our Mission: Together we walk the path with those in crisis: honoring the past, providing support in the present, and awakening hope for the future.
Our goal is to provide non-judgmental support, active listening, and assistance to all individuals impacted by abuse. At True North, we celebrate diversity; respecting each person’s unique culture, history, and life experiences is foundational to our care practices.
Our Shelter is a large, secure, residential facility that can accommodate up to 25 people (adults and children) in seven bedrooms. Communal living can be challenging for people seeking safety, therefore, TN strives to provide predictable, consistent and personalized programming with the goal of nurturing resiliency, mastery, independence and community. Our programming is founded through a trauma-based lens with a focus on fostering stable, caring relationships. Small groups by TN staff and community partners, are offered on a variety of topics including safety planning, managing stress, self-esteem and positive parenting.
Families stay together in their own bedroom for one night up to three weeks. Individuals who are coming to shelter without children, may have to share a room. Food becomes an important component to both welcome clients and learn life skills from each other at TN. Nutritious homemade meals are offered daily or families are welcome to prepare their own comfort foods in our kitchen. There is also opportunity for clients to learn tools to ground themselves during times of stress and anxiety, including individual or group mediation and yoga. There are also resources and opportunities for clients to connect with their spiritual journey in shelter.
TN always strives to ensure people have a safe place to stay, even if all our beds are full. This means that we will actively resource clients to find alternative safe options.
The goal of the Child & Youth Program is to provide a safe and nurturing environment, where children can simply, “be kids”. The playroom is a relaxed atmosphere, where children can enjoy a variety of activities (arts & crafts, dramatic play, games and music). Our Child and Youth Program supports parents in addressing the physical and emotional needs of the family during their stay in the Shelter, while supplying a safe place for children and youth to express themselves freely and have fun.
The Outreach Program provides risk assessment, safety planning, community resourcing and supportive counseling to individuals residing in the community. Clients may be in their relationship, preparing to leave, returning home, building a new life or struggling to find helpful and accessible resources to support a safe and healthy life. Outreach staff meet with clients in shelter as well in satellite offices in Three Hills and Drumheller.
Our court support program aims to provide legal resource referrals, safety planning and support around navigating the courthouse, providing an empathetic ear during what can be a scary and stressful process.
TN is pleased to offer expanded services to children and adolescents. It is our core belief that often the biggest victims of domestic abuse are the smallest in the family. This program provides longer term outreach support to children and adolescents experiencing a variety of difficulties including: Grief and loss, separation and divorce, anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD and other school adjustment issues.
The goal of the Public Education program is to increase awareness and decrease tolerance of violence and abuse. Anti-abuse educators are available to schools, service clubs, community groups, agencies and faith communities to provide a number of workshops and presentations on family abuse and related topics. This service is available free of charge, as are all shelter services. Presentations are available within several communities including, but not limited to Strathmore, Carseland, Langdon, Indus, Milo, Three Hills, Carbon, Linden, Acme, Drumheller, Trochu, Beiseker, Irricana, Kathryn, Gleichen, Siksika, Standard, Rockyford, Chestermere and more!
In order to continue to offer services to children in shelter we are using a new program model that focuses on group work with children with a primary focus on safety planning and healthy attachment between parents and children.
Highlights of this program include:
True North relies on donations from individuals, corporations and public organizations to continue programs for families impacted by abuse. Without the generosity of our supporters and donors several of our programs would be unable to continue. Programs and essential services that depend on donations to operate include:
SHELTER & SERVICES FOR ALL PEOPLE
True North takes great pride in our inclusive practices. Since opening in 1992 we have remained committed to helping everyone who has experienced domestic violence. In 2017, the True North (formally the Wheatland Crisis Society) was recognized provincially, with an Alberta Inspiration Award for our inclusive practices. All True North programs are accessible to men, women and anyone within the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, the Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program is offered through the Calgary Counselling Centre to provide longer term counselling, advocacy and support. The program includes individual and group services.