A $75,000 Community Initiatives Program (CIP) operating grant is helping the Big Hill Haven better serve women and children subjected to domestic violence in the Cochrane area.

Chair Valerie Gilmore accepted a ceremonial cheque from Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie yesterday to officially acknowledge the contribution. 

"This a fantastic opportunity for our organization to not have to worry about day-to-day costs," says Gilmore. "We're super excited that Minister (Leela) Aheer is supporting our shelter that opened in August and we appreciate the support of MLA Guthrie."

Aheer is the minister of Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women.

"It provides us with enough funding to keep our shelter open and running to support the women that are in need in our community and the surrounding area by providing them safety, resources, and the connections that they need to make safe lives for them and their children."

MLA Guthrie first connected with the organization's board in 2018 and says he immediately felt the connection. He's been a big supporter ever since and keeps in close contact with the organization.

"This cheque will go a long way, and I'll always be there to support Big Hill."

Two gift baskets bursting with goods were also donated by Guthrie's office to be given to individuals being assisted by the Big Hill Haven.

"We're excited about being able to help on an individual level as well as on a bigger, broader level," says Guthrie.

Tara McFadden, the organization's fund development officer, says the demand for Big Hill Haven’s services continue to grow.

“We are helping more clients than ever before," says McFadden. "In the last three months of 2020, we provided 150 nights of shelter to the women and families in our care. This funding helps us to meet the growing need.” 

Big Hill Haven currently has two social workers and its housing has been full since it opened in August.