A pilot project from the Rowan House Society is nearing completion.

In 2020, Rowan House launched the Safe at Home pilot project, backed by a grant from Women and Gender Equality Canada.

The goal of the program, as described by the organization, is "to explore innovative approaches to address domestic violence and abuse, specifically to keep affected families in their homes and communities. The individual using violence and abuse is supported to make changes and develop healthier relationship skills through various options."

Initially, the project involved a shelter in Claresholm, where individuals who use violence and/or abuse would be removed from their home and undergo a year-long program.

It was meant to act counter to typical cases where those affected by the abuse have to leave the home.

Since it was launched in 2020, the pilot has evolved.

It was found that issues were arising to to the distance of the Claresholm facility, as well as the length of the program.

Executive director Linette Soldan says there's now more of an emphasis on outreach.

"When they're removed from the home, our hope is to keep them still in the community, provide that wraparound support, but also offer virtual online groups. The groups are really kind of focused on what violence and abuse are, accountability, and the difference between unhealthy and healthy behaviours, so it's really providing a supportive network for the family but also providing for the person using violence and abuse to have some various options to make sure they have service provided to them."

She says this new approach allows for a few different approaches, and ultimately allows them to provide help to more people.

"We started to realize that we wanted to serve more people and we wanted to make sure we were supporting them in an important way but also trying various options. This is why we were wanting to try, for the last year, the outreach approach."

The pilot wraps in June of 2023, at which point they'll provide blueprints to Women and Gender Equality Canada, which will include information on the initial model and this newer outreach model.

In the meantime, they're keeping busy with a few projects and events, including their annual Breakfast with the Guys event.

More information on Safe at Home can be found on the project's website.