The Bridge Between

The Bridge Between

As noon approaches, the building is bustling with activity. A group of women just finished a financial literacy session. “Thank you! See you next week!”, one woman exclaims. Another lingers in the group room to ask the facilitator further questions. The sound of children playing echoes through the halls, a reminder of the vibrant life within our shelter. Conversations between case managers are interrupted by the patter of little feet, prompting reminders to walk, not run, in the hallway. Amidst the stir, plans for meetings and the aroma of lunch being prepared fill the air. Whether it's the scent of melted cheese or the occasional burnt toast, the kitchen is a hub of activity. Laughter mixes with the sounds of children playing outside, creating a comforting ambiance within these walls. There is a lot happening all at once, but then again, that’s what this space is meant for.

Kelowna Women’s Shelter Second Stage Program is designed to offer women and their children who have experienced domestic abuse a bridge between the initial crisis intervention phase and their transition to independent living by focusing on long-term support and empowerment. We recognize that leaving an abusive situation is just the first step in a survivor's journey to reclaiming their life. Many survivors face significant challenges as they work to rebuild, including finding stable housing, securing employment, and navigating legal and financial systems. The Second Stage Program addresses these challenges by providing tailored support and resources to help survivors achieve lasting independence and stability.

Since launching the Second Stage Program six months ago, we have witnessed remarkable successes among participants. Through personalized case management, women have been able to access essential resources such as job training, educational opportunities, and affordable housing options. By addressing both practical and emotional needs, we've seen survivors regain their confidence, develop valuable life skills, and take significant strides towards building a future free from violence.

One of the most meaningful aspects of the Second Stage Program has been witnessing the resilience and determination of survivors as they overcome adversity. Every success story, whether it's securing a job, finding safe and stable housing, or breaking free from cycles of abuse, reinforces the importance of our work and motivates us to continue expanding our programs and services. Additionally, the sense of community and support within the Second Stage Program has been incredibly impactful. Survivors not only receive guidance from our dedicated staff but also form connections with fellow participants who understand their experiences firsthand. These bonds provide invaluable encouragement and solidarity as they move towards healing and independence.

The Second Stage Program represents our commitment to empowering survivors beyond the shelter walls. We aim to equip survivors with the tools they need to thrive and build fulfilling lives free from violence. Together, we can create a future where every survivor has the opportunity to reclaim their power and live with dignity and autonomy.

~By Zandile Moyo

Pictured here (L-R) are: Zandile Moyo, Manager of Programs, West Kelowna; Alejandra Campos, Building Manager; and Jennifer Keast, Supervisor, 2nd Stage, West Kelowna.
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Abuse is never okay.
Asking for help is.

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two ladies talking, one looking sad