There is an urgent need for transitional and second stage housing for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in South Okanagan.
The South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) is joining Desert Sun Counselling to ask the town of Oliver for support and land to build transitional housing for women and children leaving abusive situations.
Desert Sun’s Marieze Tarr along with SOWINS executive director Danielle Goulden will be in front of Oliver council on Monday proposing transitional housing in the Oliver area, asking for land from the municipality to build a 20 to 25 unit housing project.
One suggested location that has come to the organizations’ attention is municipally-owned land at Station Street.
Both non-profit organizations provide support and shelter for women and children fleeing abuse. Both groups have identified a major need for both transitional and second stage housing as the current housing has wait lists that ‘grow by the day.’
In the presentation, the two women will outline that South Okanagan is experiencing a serious housing shortage that exponentially hurts women and children more.
Without safe and proper housing stability, research shows it creates intergenerational homelessness. To break that cycle, safe transitional housing is needed, the two propose.
The two organizations would partner with BC Housing to provide both operating and building costs. No commitment has been made by BC Housing as of yet, but they said they have good working relationship with the provincial supportive housing department.
Domestic abuse and isolation has increased since the pandemic, said Goulden in previous interviews. Coupled with a housing crisis, and women and their children are left in an even more vulnerable situation, she said.
SOWINS will once again return to Penticton’s Rotary Park for this year’s edition of the Walk to End Abuse on June 5. Last year’s event, despite having to be smaller in-person because of COVID, raised a record-breaking $53,000.