Former oilfield worker helps abused families move to safe homes

Written By Guest User, Posted on December 17, 2019

Based out of Red Deer, Chris Ehret has helped families move since the oil market downturn in 2016 to earn some more money on the side. But, what started as a financial service also became a lifeline for individuals fleeing abusive relationships.

In a TNT Exclusive, Chris speaks to what inspired the transition. Chris referred to a conversation he had with an RCMP officer while he was filling up his truck. “He asked me how business was, and I said I helped people move. He told me that due to the province’s economic decline, their domestic violence calls had tripled and their workload is through the roof.” 

After hearing this had gotten a clear idea of how he could use his already established service to help with this issue of rising domestic violence. He said, “[Shortly after] I got this idea. I have the resources and could use them to move people to a safe place for free, so I pitched the idea to one of my friends.”

“My friend said to me, ‘You’re crazy, how are you going to do that?’ I [didn’t] know, but I [knew] what needs to be done.” 

Chris’s organization, Moving Forward to New Beginnings, has filled a void felt by rising rates of domestic violence in Alberta. 

Chris says, “I’m going to [help people restart their lives], and it got the attention of a few people.”

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“I did a couple of rescue missions, and [received] a call from a women’s only shelter. They said that [a] girl was in desperate, desperate need of help. They put me on the line with her, and I could tell right away that this girl had been through hell. I had 21 people show up the next day to help the lady out of a bad situation. And at the end of it when I saw the difference that it made. I fell in love with it.”

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According to Chris, he has completed over 100 rescue missions, although only 62 have been publicized on his organization’s Facebook page. Having helped individuals and entire families, Chris, his assistant Cortney, and the volunteers who help on the missions, have made an enormous impact on hundreds of people’s lives, directly and indirectly.

In his 17 years in the oil and gas industry, Chris states, “owned a lot of stuff,” but he never felt fulfilled, and helping victims of abuse gave him a purpose.

According to a Stats Canada report, 621 of every 100,000 women in Alberta, aged 15 and older, experienced intimate partner violence between 2006-2017. That’s above the national average of 487 per 100,000 women.

For men, the trend is also concerning, at 174 of every 100,000 persons, also above the national average of 134 per 100,000.

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Resources are needed for moving costs and to provide the new accommodations. Moving Forward to New Beginnings continues its work thanks to the donations and assistance of volunteers. They frequently call for more help and supplies on their Facebook page.

The organization is run as a for-profit business, but the profits made on their paid services are used to fund the rescue missions in combinations with donations.


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