COLUMBIA — Mayor Bob McDavid declared Monday "True North Day," in honor of the upcoming changes to The Shelter, Columbia's domestic violence and sexual assault shelter.
The Shelter, Columbia's emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, has provided a safe place and advocacy for victims in the area for the past 25 years. On the steps of the Boone County Courthouse on Monday, it announced it will be changing its name.
"The Shelter has started on a new course: True North," said Barbara Hodges, executive director of the organization, explaining the new name.
Hodges said that True North will continue to provide the same services and also expand what the organization offers. The organization provides counseling and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence. Outreach programs aim to educate students in ways to prevent violence from happening.
Hodges also announced that True North received a two-year grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to create a first responder advocacy program. The first responder advocacy program will provide immediate advocacy services for victims of domestic violence. Columbia Police Department Capt. Stephen Monticelli said the department is excited about the grant. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight also voiced his support for the new advocacy program.
Teresa Maledy, president of Commerce Bank, said she personally, and Commerce Bank are committed to the facility.