By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

Women and children who are fleeing domestic violence often need a safe space to rest.

The Womens Resource Centre, which serves the Columbia Valley community with the help and support of Family Dynamix, is looking for homeowners and hotels to sign-up to become Safe Home Operators to offer domestic abuse survivors temporary room and board for up to three days.

The ideal number of operators and hotels, at a minimum, is two per community so that we can place women away from the community where the issues arise so that we can ensure their safety while theyre using services from our program, said Pat Cope, Family Dynamix executive director. From my perspective, that means having between eight to 10 Safe Home Operators and six hotels.

Mrs. Cope explained that willing participants in the program should have characteristics such as empathy for women and children leaving a domestic dispute, being open-minded to the individual needs of prospective guests, and acceptance.

If someone were to sign up for this (honorarium) program, they would be agreeing to offer up enough space for someone to stay in a spare room with a bathroom that a woman and her children can use for up to three days in a private operator home, she stated. Also, if they could be prepared to offer meals and snacks for that family while theyre staying with them. But, theyre not expected to be transition house workers, thats done by our Family Dynamix staff in the Safe Home Program. Were just looking for empathy and compassion for people who are in this situation.

There will be a Criminal Record Check (CRC) required for applicants who are willing to participate in the Safe Home Operators program.

For more information, contact Mrs. Cope or Michele Neider at 250-342-5566 or by email at [email protected].

Alternatively, you could call 250-341-3963 or email [email protected].

For women in distress, please call the 24-Hour Safe Home Help Line at 1-800-200-3003.