The organization formerly known as the Wheatland Crisis Society announced its official rebranding as True North on June 6 at the Legacy Farm. 

Newly minted, True North hosted an event to both formalize the announcement, as well as to celebrate those who have been important to their shelter, and the volunteers and staff who operate it. 

“We want to celebrate them, and we are also introducing our new name change. We have been in the community for 30 years as Wheatland Crisis Society and felt it was time for our new rebrand,” said Carol Manson McLeod, executive director of True North. “It has been almost a year of thinking about this and working with our board in the community, and talking to people about who we are and what we are.”

Manson McLeod explained there were, overall, three reasons for the organization to have decided on a name change.

“One is the term, ‘Wheatland Crisis Society.’ In a trauma-informed response, if I say I am going to a crisis society, it brings what I am already going through more to the forefront. We wanted a name that was more friendly and more inviting to our clients who are coming in to us.”

Additionally, regarding the name change, she explained, is that the shelter services more people than just those who are already residing within Wheatland County. The idea now is to prevent the misconception. 

Manson McLeod added the team feels “True North” as a name suggests pointing an individual in the right direction, and to chart their own path going forward. 

As a next step, which was also unveiled during the announcement event, True North will be working to develop affordable housing units for its clients who age out of being able to stay at the shelter from their three-week grace period. 

“The sad thing is that we are still here after 30 years helping people continue to flee domestic violence. It is sad that we are still here, but we are committed to being here,” said Manson McLeod. “It is an unfortunate necessity, but I think what has been happening over the last several years is that we have been growing our definition of domestic violence. At one time, I think people thought it was only physical violence, but it is also emotional and sexual abuse, and I think people are becoming more aware of what domestic violence is, and the fact that they can indeed get help and they can flee from it.”

During the rebranding event, True North also received a $5,000 contribution from the CGC to aid in their continued efforts to support the community. 

True North has launched their new website and has updated their online information. More info about how to access their services or support the organization is available online.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 14, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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