Shower the Shelter

This year marks 40 years of assisting women and children at Genesis House Shelter in the Pembina Valley. Ang Braun is the Executive Director at Genesis House and is looking forward to celebrating with the community this Sunday (June 23).

“[The celebration is at] Bethel Heritage Park (in Winkler). We’ll have cake and there’ll be music. It’s come and go. Bring us your well wishes. Show us your support.”

Meeting together with the community will be a highlight for Braun. She says that an organization like Genesis House, with no store front, don’t often get to see face-to-face the people that show support, “The core of our work needs to be so confidential, and we want to honor every person that comes through our doors by not sharing anything about what happens with them or for them while they’re there.”

Reflecting on 40 years of serving the community, Braun talks about some of the most important milestones: “I’m proud of the fact that our team is really, really strong. We spend a lot of time making sure that that we are good as a team. The organization believes in, and I believe, that in order for us to provide good service, the people that are within [the] organization need to feel supported. They don’t need to be the same as each other, but there needs to be a mutual respect and value of what each of us brings that is different. It gives me a lot of pride and it also gives me a lot of confidence in the services that we provide.”

Braun is also proud to be a loud voice for women and children in rural areas.

“We have been quite vocal in our little shelter here in the Pembina Valley, bringing [forth] the challenges that are faced in a in a rural area or women. It’s a whole [different] layer of things to try to unpack, then if you’re living in an urban center where there are lots of supports and transportation, but if you’re living in a rural area, you are having to think through a lot more logistics. So, I think we, we’ve brought that voice [forward] over and over again.”

Looking into the future, Braun has hopes to see some projects being completed, such as safe and affordable transitional housing. Braun says that not having this housing in place, puts clients in a dangerous position, “This is one of the things that keeps people locked in a dangerous space, and [this] has not changed. As a matter of fact, it has gotten worse. And so, we’re working on that and we’re hoping that this 40th year will be a year that we’ll be able to say we’ve done it.”

Braun is grateful for the community support that has been shown over the past 40 years.

“I recognize that we are so fortunate to be where we are in our community located. The amount of love, the amount of financial donations, the amount of donations of gifts-in-kind like towels, sheets, groceries, you name it. People remember us, they think about us. And that’s so important for our staff morale, but even more important for the families that come to stay with us.”

The 40th anniversary celebration will take place at Bethel Heritage Park in Winkler on Sunday (June 23) from 2-4 pm.

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This year, Genesis House is marking 40 years of service. Join us in celebrating the work that has been done, and acknowledge what is still needed to better support victims of abuse in our community.

We invite you to join us on Sunday, June 23rd from 2-4pm at Bethel Park to mark this milestone.

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