Interval House of Ottawa
Meet the People Behind Our Work!
We could not do what we do for survivors of violence without our incredible staff team. We've chosen to spotlight two fierce members of our team that work tirelessly to ensure that our clients and their families are safe, secure, and well on their way to not only transitioning to a life without violence, but healing from violence, too.
Shar is our Case Manager. She oversees client files and supports the staff team in meeting our residents' needs. Shar's typical day consists of reviewing the case notes for each resident, collaborating with the staff team for follow-up and next steps, and meeting with the residents to pick up the pieces of support including legal resources, system navigation, and addressing concerns about communal shelter living.
"Some of the best memories I have of clients are when they leave IHO and they express such appreciation of all the support they received from our staff team, identifying they feel they could not have done it without us. I often will commend their own strength in these exchanges and recognize that it is from their strength that we have been able to support them on this journey. These mutual exchanges make it all worthwhile."
Shar believes we need to remove the systemic barriers that keep women in violent relationships or have them return to an abusive relationship. We need better and more affordable housing options for survivors, better access to legal counsel, court systems that recognize (and believe) the complexities of gender-based violence and impact on children, stiffer penalties for dominant aggressors in criminal charges, and better financial resources for survivors to have the stability and material support to live independently and care for their children.
Caron works in our residential program as a frontline worker. In her role, Caron answers the crisis line when community members are in distress and need support. She also assesses and fulfills the needs
of our shelter residents, including health, education, employment, & financial matters.
Caron loves being able to ease the transition to shelter living for families. She especially loves empowering women and revealing their strength and resilience throughout their healing process.
"There are so many positive memories that stay with me and that I pull on when this work becomes overwhelming and challenging, but there was one particular client that arrived very distraught, heartbroken, and mourning her dream to have a strong marriage and happy family. She was physically, verbally, and financially abused, she had been isolated from her immediate family members, was left with over $50k in debt, and to top it off, was due to have another child within the next 3 weeks. The memory that stays with me is one night we had a resident meeting with karaoke and this client got up to sing and dance. It was the first time I saw her smile in over a month. She shared that IHO gave her the courage to live again, and that memory will stay with me always."
For the future, Caron hopes that abusers are consistently held accountable by the justice system for their actions.