by Morinville News Staff
After years of planning, The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (JMMF) will open their emergency shelter, Jessie’s House, on May 19. The 9200 square foot, 35 room shelter was built in memory of Jessica Martel, a young Morinville mom who was killed in an act of domestic violence and is the first shelter built in Alberta in 22 years.
JMMF says Jessie’s House is unique in that it provides trauma-informed services to individuals, of any age or gender, and families who are fleeing abuse.
“More than just a bed, we’ll provide a broad range of services including outreach, case management, court support and, specialized supports for children,” said JMMF Executive Director Kayla Das, adding that as trauma-informed facility Jessie’s House will strive to meet their residents where they are, reducing as many barriers to service as possible. “Serving individuals and families from the Sturgeon Region and St Albert will be our priority; however, residents outside the region will be supported as our capacity permits.
JMMF was co-founded as a charity in 2012 by Jessica’s mother, Lynne Rosychuk with a mandate of providing family violence supports for what they saw as an historically underserviced region.
“Jessica had been turned away from other shelters that were full more than once, and finding supports close to home proved impossible,” Rosychuk said. “She and I had a dream to build a home to support others like her. Jessica lost her life to domestic violence, but we’ve made it our mission to ensure her spirit and our dream live on. And, I know she’s been here every step of the way.”
Clients or service providers seeking support can call Jessie’s House Crisis Line 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-866-939-2850.
Individuals, businesses or agencies who wish to donate to or support the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation should call 780-939-5289.