Two years away from the living nightmare of domestic abuse, trafficking or addiction can make a significant difference in a woman’s life. That’s something the volunteers and board members of Inn for Women know well.
Inn for Women, located at 5760 176 St., was a new venture two years ago. It was launched by local retailer Yvonne Hogenes, owner of Malary’s Fashion Network, along with Alida Wasmuth and Joyce VanderMey.
“We set it up two years ago as a social enterprise,” Hogenes said, “so that we could help support the charity work that we were doing for women that were coming out of domestic abuse situations, trafficking and addiction.”
The store — staffed by volunteers — is a “chic second-hand boutique” that specializes in high-quality clothing, jewelry and shoes. Proceeds earned go towards providing women in need with basic essentials such as food, clothing, housing, and transportation, but also help support their access to counseling and lawyer consultation.
Hogenes tells of how the Inn has been able to help a woman suffering domestic abuse find safety for herself and her five children, and how they were able to support a young mother who lost her husband to ALS. “We’re really happy to be able to walk beside these women, helping them to get their feet on the ground,” Hogenes said. “This is the type of thing just not possible with the short three-month traditional support available from most agencies, including the government.”
Hogenes is able to share many success stories. “We were able to purchase a vehicle for a woman,” she said. “But sometimes it’s as simple as a bus pass. Even the little things can be life-changing.”
“We’ve seen the difference that time and support makes,” she added. “We know it works. The success stories are proof of the effectiveness of this program.”
A newsletter that highlights more success stories and explains how to get involved will soon be made available. To sign up for the newsletter, or to find out more information about donations or events, visit www.innforwomen.org.