Organizers of this year’s Coldest Night of the Year walk in support of homelessness, Valery Puetz and Diane Palmer of the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, chat with Coun. Charlie Cornfield before a meeting of city council. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River and North Island Transition Society takes over administration of Campbell River Women’s Centre

Change is administrative in nature and should result in no changes to the Women’s Centre

The Campbell River and North Island Transition Society has taken over the administration of the Campbell River Women’s Centre.

The two organizations have been working closely together for years and, in fact, it has not always been clear in the community about what the difference was between the two. Added to that is the financial challenges facing the Women’s Centre given there is no government funding for its operation.

“Administratively, it became very difficult for the Women’s Centre to operate without any secured funding,” said Valery Puetz, Executive Director of the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (CRNITS). “And as the opportunities shrunk it became more difficult and more difficult.

“So, the hope was that by becoming part of our organization – I mean we’re very much similar mandates – that we could help support them and have some efficiencies around administration and stuff.”

The Women’s Centre has operated a drop-in centre for women since 1984 and its mandate – the support and empowerment of women – dovetails with the Transition Society’s own mandate of providing shelter and access to community-based resources for women and children. The two organizations have a long and valued relationship with each other, a press release from CRNITS says. In fact, in 1986, the Women’s Centre was instrumental in the creation of the Transition Society.

The Campbell River and North Island Transition Society is a non-profit society which operates the Ann Elmore Transition House and Rose Harbour Transitional Housing in Campbell River as well as safe homes in remote locations. The society also offers child and youth support services, outreach services, a 24-hour telephone help line and more.

The Campbell River Women’s Centre provides a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment that provides access to basic necessities, programs, services for women in crisis, poverty or who simply need support. The Women’s Centre is located on the ground floor of Rose Harbour at 1116 Dogwood Street and will continue to be open between 10 a.m and 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

This change, while exciting for both societies, is administrative in nature and should result in no changes to the operation of the Women’s Centre, Puetz said.

“It will be business as usual,” Puetz said.

“Our shared vision and principles make us a perfect fit,” said a longtime employee of the Women’s Centre who was not identified in the press release.

“The programs of the Women’s Centre are solid and have been going for many, many years,” Puetz said, “and providing really good service and we will continue to provide the same or similar programming as much as we can and as time goes by, we will figure out what we can manage financially.”

But the CRNITS will be out in the community seeking support for the Women’s Centre.

“It’s an unfunded program. There is no government core funding for Women’s Centres,” Puetz said. “So it’s all by donation or gaming funds. So, we will be looking for some assistance because the Women’s Centre offers some great programming for poverty relief and support for women fleeing violence, referrals to other agencies. It’s a service we really don’t want to lose.”

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