The South Okanagan Women in Need Society has been chosen for the Bell Media Have a Heart Radiothon to raise much-needed funds for their Second Stage housing program.
SOWINS offers emergency sheltering, counselling services, mobile outreach and community-based victim services programs for women, youth and children fleeing abuse from Summerland through Penticton and down to Osoyoos.
The Second Stage program helps a woman build a life for herself and her children after abuse and violence.
“This is a critical step in the journey towards healing and leaving a life of abuse in the ones past. Unfortunately, many women that leave the house have no where to go and end up returning to their abusers," said Liz Gomes, acting executive director of SOWINS.
A typical first step at SOWINS is temporary housing at an emergency home for women and children.
Once stabilized, residents may move into Second Stage housing to access necessary counselling and resources while living in a safe, affordable home for themselves and their children.
The housing is subsidized to support the family while the mother accesses employment, daycare, saves money for her damage deposit and ultimately finds a home for her and her children.
“Unfortunately, the issue with housing is affecting this program with few units available to women and children which causes a backlog in the Transition House," Gomes said.
That's where the MOVE 97.1 and Bounce Radio radiothon comes in. Funds raised will be used to start a kick-started fund for future housing options, as well as immediate needs for women in the shelter.
SOWINS is hoping the community will come together and support the program. Donations can be made during the radiothon at Cherry Lane mall on Thursday, March 30 between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm to make your donation and support women, youth, and children in the community.
To learn more about SOWINS or to donate today go to www.sowins.com.