FAQs

General

Emergency Shelter

To access our Transition House contact our 24-hour number Ph 250-493-7233 or Toll Free Number 1-800-814-2033.

  • 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.

You may stay up to thirty days.

There is no charge to stay at the Transition House.

The Transition House is staffed 24/7 and provides enhanced security features to help ensure your safety.

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.

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.

Yes, the Emergency Shelter is open to any woman and her children fleeing abuse.

No, reporting to the police is not a requirement for accessing the Emergency Shelter.

Please contact us at: 250-493-4366

Depending on your circumstance you may placed in a safe home as part of your safety plan while leaving an abusive relationship. You may stay in a safe home for an average of 10 days, during that time more permanent housing should be sought out and arranged.

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.

Working at SOWINS

Credentials and experience are dependant on the position. Read each job posting carefully to determine whether you possess the required qualifications. Applicants for Women’s Support positions require a diploma such as Human Service Worker or Social Service Worker (or equivalent) and two years of recent related experience with women who are overcoming the experience of abuse in a residential setting.

Volunteering at SOWINS

The first step is to contact us at 250-493-4366.

Yes, you can although we will often ask you to volunteer in an area where you were not a client – e.g. special events. There may also be a waiting to period between when you were a client and when it is best for you to volunteer.

At this time there is volunteer opportunities for special projects and events. Our special event jobs can cover event planning, collecting donations, packing holiday hampers, and information booth sitting. We are seeking volunteer support for:

  • Walk to End Abuse (June)
  • Share the Spirit – hamper days, donation room & holiday party

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.

Yes, there are three forms to complete.

  1. Volunteer Application Form: This form is for your references and contact information and helps us get to know you better.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The Ministry of Justice reviews volunteer application on a case by case basis. If you know that your criminal record check will come back with a flag, let the coordinator of volunteers know in advance. We encourage volunteers to go through the CRRP process as an adjudicator will discuss your previous history with you and can assist you in your pursuit of volunteering. If it is determined that SOWINS is not the appropriate place for you to volunteer, we encourage you to reach out the South Okanagan Volunteer Center as they will have other places that may be a better match.

Yes! We have many volunteers that help us out at certain times of the year or for special events, over the holidays, or one off events.  Contact us at 250-493-4366 for more information.

Other Questions

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.

Contracts

Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling and Empowerment (PEACE) for Children & Youth – Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Women’s Counselling Program – Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and BC Housing
Community Based Victim Services – Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Safe Homes, Second Stage Housing, Homeless Prevention and Permanent Housing Programs – BC Housing
Transition House Program -BC Housing
Emergency Youth Bed – Ministry of Children and Family Development
SAFExst Program – Public Safety Canada and Interior Health Authority

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.

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 women and children impacted by abuse

If you can’t afford a lawyer, and you have left an abusive relationship you may qualify for legal aid. Our Community Outreach Support worker can help you with information.

No, we do not offer couples or marriage counselling. If you are in or have been in an abusive relationship or are wanting to leave an abusive relationship our counseling services are available to you. We will provide you with information about resources that are available to your husband / partner.

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.

You Can Help

SOWINS relies in part on the generosity of people like you to help end the cycle of violence and abuse in the South Okanagan. Your contribution will make a difference in the life of a woman or child who has experienced or is at risk of violence and abuse.  Please give.

Need support?
Contact us

Counselling Office:
250-493-7233
24 Hour Crisis Line:
1-800-814-2033

You Can help!

Become a Member

You can help by becoming a member of SOWINS. Members support us as we work to prevent abuse and increase awareness about the impacts of abuse, and strive to make our community a safer and healthier place for all. Membership is only $10 per year.

Become a Volunteer

Volunteering with SOWINS is a rewarding opportunity to make a direct, positive impact on the lives of women and children in the South Okanagan. We are on the lookout for community members in good standing who respect the confidential and sensitive nature of the work we do.

Host an Event

You can help SOWINS by hosting a fundraising event at your home, work, school or in the community. We call it third-party fundraising but you’ll feel like part of the SOWINS family. We have lots of ideas and some guidelines. Get inspired and check it out…

Get in touch

Hours

Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 5:00

Location

SOWINS (South Okanagan Women in Need Society) #102-1027 Westminster Avenue West,
Penticton, B.C. V2A 1L4

Contact

Office: 250-493-4366
Crisis (24h): 1-800-814-2033
E-mail: info@sowins.com

Making an Impact

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Bed Stays for Women in 2019

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Bed Stays for Children in 2019

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PEACE Program Sessions in 2019

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Crisis Calls Answered in 2019

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Shelter at Capacity for these days in 2019

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Women and Children Turned AWAY in 2019