How do I make an appointment with a counselor?
How can I access SOWINS services?
To access our Transition House contact our 24-hour number Ph 250-493-7233 or Toll Free Number 1-8000-814-2033.
- If you are in a crisis contact our 24-hour Crisis Line 250-493-7233 or Toll Free Number 1-800-814-2033.
- If you need to make an appointment with a counsellor contact 250-493-4366 or drop by our office (102-1027 Westminster Ave West, Penticton) Monday to Friday from 9am to noon during our walk-in times. Our services are free and confidential, no referral necessary.
How long can I stay at the Transition House?
You may stay up to thirty days.
How much does it cost to stay at the Transition House?
There is no charge to stay at the Transition House.
How safe will I be at the Emergency Shelter?
The Transition House is staffed 24/7 and provides enhanced security features to help ensure your safety.
Do I have to share a room with anyone else at the Emergency Shelter?
No. Many clients are unsure what to expect when they arrive at the Emergency Shelter, thinking it is set up in a hostel style of format. It is not.
As a client of the Emergency Shelter, you are provided with an individual room with a bed, nightstand, closet and full private bathroom. We recognize that privacy is an important part of the journey beyond trauma. There is a grand room, community space and large, well-equipped kitchen.
Can I bring our pet dog or cat to the Transition House?
We do not accept pets at the Transition House. However, we can assist with finding short term placement for dogs and cats. Guide dogs and companion dogs with a valid certificate will accepted at the Transition House.
My partner does not hit me but takes all my money and stops me from seeing family and friends, can I still come to the Transition House?
I am not a Canadian Citizen, can my children and I still come to the Emergency Shelter?
Yes, the Emergency Shelter is open to any woman and her children fleeing abuse.
Do I have to report the abuse to the police before I can come to the Emergency Shelter?
No, reporting to the police is not a requirement for accessing the Emergency Shelter.
How do I make my home available as a safe home?
What happens to me after the safe home?
How will I find affordable housing when I leave the Emergency Shelter?
Your options will be explored. For example, do you qualify for BC Housing or SAFER? You may also be referred to other community or government agencies who can assist you more in this area. However, affordable housing does remain a great challenge.
What credentials do I need to work at SOWINS?
Volunteering with SOWINS
I want to volunteer with SOWINS. How do I get started?
The first step is to contact us at 250-493-4366 ext 105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. We also post volunteer jobs on our website and Facebook page.
Can I volunteer at SOWINS if I have been a client?
What kinds of volunteer jobs are at SOWINS?
At this time there is volunteer opportunities for special projects and events. Our special event jobs can cover event planning, cooking, sewing, collecting donations, packing holiday hampers, and information booth sitting. We are seeking volunteer support for:
- WE: Project – share what you love with the clients of SOWINS (ongoing)
- Walk a Mile in Her Shoes South Okanagan (June/July)
- Share the Spirit – hamper days, donation room & holiday party (Nov/Dec)
We also have positions available on our Board of Directors. If you would like to make a deeper commitment to SOWINS, perhaps that is the volunteer job for you.
Are there volunteer forms to fill out?
- Volunteer Application Form: This form is for your references and contact information and helps us get to know you better.
- Ethical Conduct & Confidentiality Form: This form is an agreement between SOWINS and you and says that we will treat each other with fairness and respect. Because of the sensitive work that we do at SOWINS we also need to protect the privacy of our clients. This form says that all volunteers agree to protect the clients of SOWINS privacy as well.
- Criminal Record Review: This is for volunteers who will work in contact with SOWINS clients, in our office, or in any job that could be sensitive for our clients. The form is filled out in person or online, is free and confidential. The CRRP is a processed through the Ministry of Justice.
If you need help filling out your volunteer application forms the coordinator of marketing & volunteers help you.
I have a previous criminal record. Can I still volunteer with SOWINS?
What are the typical steps to become a volunteer with SOWINS?
- Contact the coordinator of volunteer and set up a interview
- At the interview the coordinator of volunteers will tell you about the positions available at SOWINS – both current and upcoming. They will also talk about what it is like to volunteer with SOWINS and also what is expected of the volunteers.
- At this point both you and the volunteer coordinator will know if volunteering with SOWINS is right for you or not.
- If it is the right choice you will be given the volunteer application forms for the next stage.
- If it is not the right choice we will thank you for thinking of SOWINS and direct you to the Volunteer Centre for other opportunities.
- Once you have completed and returned to our office the volunteer application form, the ethical and confidentiality form we will review your application and contact your references.
- Once we have accepted you to join our volunteer team you will be given a Volunteer Manual.
- Depending on the position a Criminal Record Review check with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) may also be needed. The MOJ is the final work on whether SOWINS can accept a volunteer or not.
I only want to volunteer for special events. Is that okay?
If I don’t like my volunteer role can I change it?
Can I use my volunteer experience with SOWINS on my resume?
How is SOWINS Funded?
Fundraising, grants and donations
Demand for SOWINS programs and services exceed supply. Additional funding for these is sought through various grant applications, fundraising activities and donations. To donate to SOWINS, please click here.
Transition House and Safe Home Programs receive core funding from BC Housing – Women’s Transition Housing and Supports. Children Who Witness Abuse and Community Outreach programs receive core funding from the Ministry of Justice – Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division. Funding responsibilities are outlined in Service Agreements between SOWINS and the Ministry involved. The core Ministry funding covers about 70 per cent of the actual operating costs of the services contracted.
SOWINS subcontracts with the YMCA of Okanagan and Open Door Group to provide specialized employment readiness services for women who have been abused. Funding is provided based on services rendered and the number of women served.
How do I know if I am eligible for the healing and life skills services?
What qualifications do your counselors have?
Our counsellors have a range of education and certifications including:
- BSW (Bachelor of Social Work)
- MSW (Master of Social Work)
- RSW (Registered Social Worker)
- RCC (Registered Clinical Counsellor)
- Plus specialized training and many years of experience working with abused women and children
How will I afford a lawyer?
My mother has addiction issues and needs counseling, can you help her?
My mother will not leave the abusive relationship she is in, will you please remove her?
My husband / partner needs counseling, will you see him? / Can we come for counseling together?
Do you provide a training allowance for your healing and life skill workshops?
Do you provide food vouchers?
Do you provide transportation to and from appointments
Do you provide bus tickets?
How do I donate clothing to the individuals you serve?
At this time SOWINS is unable to accept donations of gently used items – including clothing. We are only able to accept new items. There are many excellent not for profits in our community that SOWINS clients frequent. This includes:
- The Vineyard Church Free Store
- The Care Closet
- Salvation Army
- IODE Thrift Shop
Please consider donating your gently used items to these organizations.