Susann Collins, the executive director of the South Cariboo Women’s Centre Society (back), and Sara Hockett, the centre’s former office assistant in the society’s office. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

100 Mile House and District Women’s Centre Society to close

Board says it’s not sustainable to run two distinct non-profits

The 100 Mile House and District Women’s Centre Society is closing as the Board of Directors, which also represents the South Cariboo Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-SCB), decided that having one Executive Director and Board of Directors to provide leadership to two distinctive non-profit organizations wasn’t feasible.

The society will dissolve on March 31 (the end of their fiscal year).

“We are feeling confident in this decision and that the best way to move forward as a Board is to seek sustainable long term ‘homes’ for important services for women and families in our community.”

The board says they are stretched thin after holding two distinct monthly meetings, as required, adding conducting annual fundraisers for two organizations is not sustainable in the long term.

The society was started by a group of local women in 1992 using funds from the Ministry for Women’s Equality. However, all Women’s Centres in B.C. lost their core funding in 2003, according to the board, though individual services and contracts remain funded.

“But we were able to keep our doors open and continue to provide services for women in the Southern Cariboo.”

The board says that funding was not a factor in the decision.

They’ve always had call to actions for the recruitment of new board members at AGMs but with day to day governance and any new members also having to commit to being a CMHA-SCB board member that represented a huge undertaking for most people, according to the board.

The board says responses to the coming closure have been mixed.

“Clients are saying that they are grateful for what the Women’s Centre has provided them, and recognizing that the drop in space has been really important to them. Many are asking why, and there have been some tears, as well as shock and anger. Others saying they understand the need to take these steps. Clients have been asking where they can go when the Women’s Centre closes. Staff have spent time brainstorming with clients about what the needs are and how to get these needs met elsewhere.”

The programs the society offers include the Stopping the Violence counselling program (for women who are experiencing or have experienced abuse), the Safe House program (providing safe housing for women and their children fleeing abuse), Community Partner for Legal Aid (providing information to women and men needing assistance in dealing with legal matters, and assisting them to apply for Legal Aid) and the Drop-In program (the safe drop-in space for women, and the Clothes Closet free store), in addition to other services it’s provided in the past such as Christmas Hampers.

The future of those services will become clearer near the March 31 deadline.

“Partner organizations have already come forward to support the society in any way they can. Funders of the services the society currently provides recognize there is a need for these valuable services in our community.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Graffiti sprayed on 100 Mile Community Hall

‘We’re having a hard time through this COVID’

Have you been following the Justin Trudeau and WE Charity story?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Highway 97 to be repaved in 100 Mile House following complaints

‘It’s been over a month now since those holes have been developing’

South Cariboo piano students see success at online exams

‘I like learning new songs and then actually getting to play them well’

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read