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True North, known as The Shelter until July 2010, is an emergency shelter that provides services to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Its mission is to provide a safe environment by educating, empowering and advocating for victims. It also hopes to affect social change by providing opportunities for individuals to realize and participate in the community’s responsibility to end domestic and sexual violence.

True North got its start in the 1970s as a volunteer organization to serve rape survivors. The first shelter building opened Jan. 1, 1983. In 2006, Comprehensive Human Services, the not-for-profit company that runs True North, increased its number of facilities and the services it provides. That year also saw the addition of several new facets to the organization, including The Circle House, a transitional living program.

In July 2010, The Shelter announced it was changing its name to True North, highlighting a “new course” for the organization, according to its executive director, Barbara Hodges. It also received a two-year grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health that would allow it to create a first responder advocacy program. The program would provide immediate services for domestic violence victims.

On Sept. 30, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued True North after two former employees said they were fired or demoted for reporting a sexual harassment incident. In a statement released Oct. 1, True North denied the allegations.

Factbox

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1367, Columbia, MO 65205-1367

Office phone: 573-875-0503

Hot line number: 573-875-1370

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