Charitable donations from the community and grant funding continue to aid the Big Hill Haven Women's Shelter in its mission to provide a safe haven for victims of abuse.

On Friday, the Cochrane Foundation presented the local shelter with a cheque for $5,000 in support of Big Hill Haven's emergency housing. 

Tara McFadden is the Fund Development and Public Relations Officer for Big Hill Haven and she says that despite being able to offer their own housing solution this year, the need for support has been greater and the haven has been full since opening in August.

"It's been full, pretty much continually since then," says McFadden. "Of course with COVID, hitting our initial plan of being able to have maybe more than one client in there at a time is now not possible. What we're having to do is then use alternative housing whether that's booking a couple of nights into a hotel or extended time at a hotel or elsewhere we're having to find other solutions."

It costs Big Hill Haven $75 a night to provide alternative shelter if the haven is full. McFadden says that having this grant funding will go a long way in helping them provide emergency housing solutions.

The Cochrane Foundation has been a big support to many important causes in the community since the foundation was created in 1993, and it recently announced the awarding of nearly $80,000 from its annual grant program.

Board Chair of the Cochrane Foundation, Tim Harvie presented the $5,000 cheque on Friday. He says that he's proud of how many great causes the foundation has been able to support over the years including the Big Hill Haven.

"Every year there's a need in this community and there's a wide number of groups," says Harvie. "There's new groups that come along like this one, it's only been around for a couple of years, so another need has raised and we're happy to support that."

Board Director, Jeff Brunner is also a family lawyer with Resolve Legal Group and he says that with domestic violence cases escalating at an alarming rate in the Cochrane area there is a greater need for community support. 

"I see the need," says Brunner. "I have clients that need the help and I really wanted to try and help provide opportunities because there's such a need." 

Brunner says he is grateful for community support like this grant from the Cochrane Foundation which in turn will help bring even more women and children to safety.