Empowerment Stories

(Real stories from past Odyssey House residents.)


#1: A Way Forward

Jenna came to the shelter with her two young children, Sam and Abby. She had just left an abusive partner two months earlier, and had been staying with a friend.

Jenna cried as she told us about how hard it had been financially. She ran out of money to buy clothes and basic school-supplies, not to mention a place to live. It was so bad that she had considered returning to her abusive ex-partner just for the financial support. (A common occurrence.)

Thankfully, we were able to help. We supplied her with donated gift-cards to allow her to buy necessities for her family. We were also able to provide her with leads on affordable housing opportunities. Jenna left with a smile, and a sense of hope.


#2: New Tools, New Perspective

Tammy’s journey towards freedom from abuse took time. For the first year after leaving her partner, the abuse followed her.

But Tammy never stopped moving forward. She secured herself a basement suite and fresh college dreams. She faithfully attended groups at the shelter that covered topics like abuse, self-esteem, and independent living.

She went on to finish a two-year diploma in Early Childhood Education, and was able to completely free herself from her past relationship. She learned to recognize the warning signs of potential future abuse, and how to maintain a safe and free life.

Upon graduation from our groups, she left us with this statement: “I feel my tool belt is now full. I know I’ll never be in another abusive relationship again.”


#3: A Turning Point

Zanika and her son Toby were brought to us in the middle of the night by the RCMP. Neither spoke English, and this was their first time at a shelter. They were terrified.

With the help of a translator, Zanika told us her story. Her husband had forbidden her from taking English classes, which kept her isolated and trapped.

We were able to help register her for ESL classes, and provided her with language programs that she could use while in the shelter. They stayed for a few weeks, then decided to move on to another city where a friend was able to offer further support.

We sent them  off with clothing, luggage, lunches, and a bus-ticket to freedom. As she left, she thanked us for showing her that she could make her own choices, and for reminding her that she deserved more.



 Grande Prairie Domestic Abuse