Homefront is an organization that strives to eliminate domestic violence and assists individuals and families who require support with the justice system. Nicole Sgarbossa, Homefront’s communication specialist, discussed how her organization facilitates programs aimed to build healthier domestic situations.
What do you feel are the types of things your organization is doing that are the most innovative in creating equitable communities?
We support victims of domestic violence after police lay charges, and they are going to move into the justice system. Homefront gets involved and supports the victims all the way through the justice system and beyond. We’re working to support them through that justice process. I think what’s really unique and innovative about Homefront is we actually, back in 2000, started a specialized domestic violence court here in Calgary. A lot of people don’t know about it, unless you’re involved in it, but it is Courtroom 508 here in Calgary that deals with domestic violence matters pretty much all day every day. It’s a treatment based court, so what we’re doing in this court is we’re looking to break the cycle of domestic violence.
Who or what do you feel hinders the progress towards achieving equitable communities?
I think it’s a societal issue that this still happens. There’s a lot of underlying education that needs to happen about coping mechanisms that need to be taught to kids at a young age. I think healthy relationship education is super important. We know domestic violence can cycle through generations too. So it’s a tough one to pinpoint the main issue, but I think the more resources that we have, and the more agencies and resources in the city and the more people that talk about domestic violence, that people out there know that they’re safe, resources they can turn to for support, that’s a that’s a huge thing for helping to make things more equitable.
What parts of the city do you see as being the most vulnerable?
We actually plotted our client’s postal codes on a map and it’s literally everywhere. So that’s something that people think happens in only one part of the city. But I can tell, you have a certain truth that it is everywhere.
Who else do you feel is doing innovative work improving the well-being of communities?
The Center for Newcomers, they have a lot of great programs. There’s an organization called Gems for Gems. We work closely with them to provide a thrive. They do a lot of empowerment stuff for victims of domestic violence.
Check out more on Community Well Being