Posted by Margaret Brown on Jan 14, 2018

Karen Mason from the Kelowna Women's Shelter was our guest speaker today imparting some very sombre information.

The Kelowna Women's Shelter provides a safe confidential location and free services. Some of these include accommodation, food, clothing, transportation, childcare, counselling, 24-hour phone line, help with safety planning, information, referrals, advocacy, outreach, follow-up support, educational programs and much much more!!!!

The abuse mostly involves women. She talked about the endless cycle of abuse; tension, explosion, break, honeymoon. In most cases this is repeated 7 times before the woman leaves for good! Abuse is any behavior used to exert power and control over someone. It can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, and financial. The abuse crosses all walks of life rich and poor. Statically, one in three women are abused in some way but realistically it is believed to be 50%!

The shelter has been open for 37 years and serves from Lake Country to Peachland. It has 16 beds that are full to over flowing daily. They have a 30-day maximum stay which can extend into longer if the person simply has no where to go. They also have a home on the site they rent (nominally) for one year to up to 4 women who are getting back on their feet. They partner with an umbrella (7) of other vital services such as, the Ministry of Children and Family services, police etc., to provide a broad helping hand to those that come for help.

201 people spent at least one night in the shelter last year! Nearly 1000 had counselling or other support help. The needs are endless!

The program is funded by government funders, foundations, service clubs, business organizations and individuals.

To learn more about how the shelter changes lives, and how you and help, visit kelownawomensshelter.ca  If you need help or, know someone who does, call 250-763-1040 24 hours a day.

They are also looking for volunteers in many different areas.