Since 1994, BWSS has been envisioning the day when we can expand on our mission by providing housing for women. We’ve patiently awaited the right opportunity as we never wanted to grow for the sake of growth but rather to make the best of key opportunities that leverage the biggest impact for women and their children experiencing violence. We recognize that the time is now to make the biggest impact for women and their children experiencing violence, and we do not want to miss out during this key time in a housing crisis. Join us in shaping the future of housing in British Columbia.

In response to the dire situation faced by women and children during the COVID-19 pandemic, when traditional transition houses were temporarily forced to close their doors, BWSS took decisive action. We partnered with a local hotelier to operate emergency transitional housing, offering a safe haven for up to 40 women and children fleeing domestic, intimate partner, and sexualized violence, and continued to provide employment, legal advocacy, counselling, crisis intervention, and more. During this time, we witnessed firsthand the significant impact safe transitional housing has on survivors’ lives.

Empowered by this experience and with our 45 years of supporting survivors of domestic, intimate partner, and sexualized violence, including housing, in May 2024, we are opening 10 second-stage housing units where women and their children can reside while receiving comprehensive wrap-around support services.

Embarking on the journey to break free from abuse is no easy feat; it’s a maze of challenges, a complex navigation of survival. The path to safety unfolds in stages of crisis, stabilization and healing, and living free from violence.

 

What is Second Stage Housing?

In the first stage of “crisis,” a first-stage housing solution, such as shorter-term transition houses and safe home programs, provides an emergency exit strategy for women fleeing violence. Our Second-Stage Housing focuses on “stabilization and healing” on the path to safety, providing a longer-term stay option that is a safe space where empowerment, healing, and specialized support are intertwined. In this transformative program, survivors can develop their independence and access wrap-around support such as counselling, a chance at mother-child reunification, an opportunity to alleviate isolation by building community, and a palette of other resources to paint their own path towards freedom. It’s not just about securing a physical space; it’s about building a bridge between the chaos of crisis and living free from violence.

Second-stage housing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution as each survivor navigates through a unique tapestry of experiences. This program caters specifically to women seeking independent living with additional support. Not everyone may opt for it, but for those desiring extra assistance during their journey to safety and stabilization, Second-Stage Housing becomes a vital solution.

As we approach the opening of the Second-Stage Housing in May 2024, we have actively forged amazing partnerships with organizations and government agencies who acknowledge the priority of housing for survivors of violence and have raised $4,460,490 towards this campaign. We are almost at the finish line, but we need your help to raise the remaining $650,000 for capital and furnishings for the units. With your help, we can create not just transitional housing but also a cocoon of support, a chrysalis where survivors metamorphose.

Join us on this journey toward the opening of BWSS Second-Stage Housing. Your support will be pivotal in providing safe, secure housing for women and girls fleeing from violence.

Because a safe home changes everything.