The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 22, 2013

MENding Project lines up services for women in crisis

MENding Project lines up services for women in crisis

MANKATO — When it comes to domestic violence, the advocates can usually be classified into one gender.

But the folks at CADA House are hoping a new program can bring more men into the equation.

The MENding Project aims to line up men who can offer specific services to women who are in the middle of a domestic violence-related crisis.

They've got a few partners lined up already, but they're looking for more.

"It's a business partnership within the community, businesses helping women in their community," said Emma Kind, a social worker at CADA House, which is an emergency shelter for women who are victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.

"This project is men helping women, and it's really about trying to get men involved."

Kind brought the idea to CADA and launched it in early 2013. It's the brainchild of Chuck Derry and Ed Heisler, who have helped set up MENding Projects around the state with this motto: "Some men are ripping the fabric of our communities apart through sexual and domestic violence. Some men are repairing the harm."

The program works by establishing a network of men who can provide services to women who may need help as they rebuild their lives following domestic violence. They may need a lawyer to help them navigate an order for protection case, or a mechanic to help repair their car, or a plumber to make repairs in a new apartment.

One of the partners for CADA in Mankato is Matt Norland, a financial planner. Norland said he heard about the program last fall from Kind. The two attend the same church.

"You hear about the homeless, you hear about people who are hungry, you hear about kids who needs school supplies," Norland said. "You don't often hear about domestic violence."

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