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March 8, 2022 – On behalf of Interval House of Hamilton Board of Directors, it is our privilege to announce the naming of our emergency shelter for women and their children – Victoria and Friends in honour of our partnership with Victoria Mancinelli, LiUNA.

In 2021, Interval House of Hamilton (IHOH) marked 35 years in providing services to women, with or without children, who experienced abuse, violence, or human trafficking. Now, on March 8th, International Women’s Day, we are thrilled to name our shelter after a remarkable woman who represents and aligns with the values of Interval House of Hamilton, and who has reached out to other community leaders to also become Friends of Interval House of Hamilton. We are delighted to have the emergency shelter now named Victoria and Friends as our acknowledgement of the dedication of Victoria Mancinelli, Director, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at LiUNA in supporting of our work with women and children. Thank you, Victoria.

We thank LiUNA for their ongoing commitment to ending gender-based violence. LiUNA’s contribution of $250k over five years will enable us to continue to provide support, resources and care women need when they have experienced abuse, violence, or human trafficking. With the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — where rates of violence and abuse are substantially increasing due to additional stress at home from job losses, isolation, and financial strain – the generous financial contributions from LiUNA is incredibly important.

Said Nancy Smith, Executive Director, Interval House of Hamilton, “Over 35 years ago, Interval House of Hamilton was only an emergency shelter. We have expanded our programs over the years to include Women’s Centre Hamilton, Jared’s Place, Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre, MentorAction, and Be More Than A Bystander. Now it is time our emergency shelter had a dedicated name under the organization umbrella of Interval House of Hamilton. We wanted to name our emergency shelter after a remarkable woman who represents and aligns with our values, and it did not take long to determine Victoria Mancinelli as that remarkable woman. Victoria, a strong advocate for women’s issues and a promoter of gender-equality in our community, said “yes” to our request. Our partnership for naming rights was now underway.”

“Naming our shelter after Victoria Mancinelli who is a Canadian leader in issues of gender equality, perfectly aligns with our organization’s mission, vision and values and is true synergy! As well, Victoria immediately reached out to friends to jump on board to support our work. Now, Victoria and Friends, a shelter for women with or without children is launched. We could not be more honoured. Announcing the naming of our shelter on March 08th, International Women’s Day is perfect and just makes sense.”

Said Victoria Mancinelli, Director, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, LiUNA, “Today marks International Women’s Day, a global call to action to end gender bias. As women continue to face significant barriers to escaping domestic violence including childcare, affordable housing, pets, employment and many others, organizations like Interval House of Hamilton are an integral part of our greater Hamilton community providing life-altering programs and quality, compassionate care in a critical time of unrest for women with or without children fleeing from unsafe, violent and abusive spaces.”

“On behalf of LiUNA, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to working together in our call to action to raise the voice of all women in all spaces. Violence against women is not just a woman’s issue, it is a human rights issue, a community-wide issue. With the power of community here with us today, we have the ability to enact progressive change, to provide care and tools to integrate women back into society, in a safe household with integrity and courage. I am honoured to raise my voice, with Interval House and Victoria and Friends, in this critical step forward in our collective fight to end gender-based violence. Today is not about us as donors. Today serves as a catalyst for change where we come together to ensure supportive resources are not limited and that women are heard, respected, and protected.”

Interval House of Hamilton (IHOH) works with women with or without children, aged 16 and up, who have experienced abuse, violence, human trafficking and/or trauma. IHOH is comprised of the 22- bed emergency shelter on Sanatorium Road, legal advocacy at Jared’s Place, and counselling and support services at Hamilton Women’s Centre in downtown Hamilton and at the Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre in Waterdown. The mission of IHOH is violence-free lives for all women, children, and communities. Our IHOH MentorAction’s Be More Than A Bystander partnership to end gender-based violence have grown and expanded and now includes Hamilton Bulldogs, McMaster University Athletics, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Forge FC, and SportHamilton.