Archway Society for Domestic Peace staff Sherry Demetrick (left) and Larissa Crack want to ensure the community is aware of all the supportive programs offered by the society, formerly the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Vernon Women’s Transition House changes name

Name changed to Archway Society for Domestic Peace to showcase all programs offered

Earlier this year, the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society unveiled their new name: Archway Society for Domestic Peace.

Sherry Demetrick, co-executive director of administration, explained that the change was due to the common misconception that the non-profit group’s sole purpose is to operate the women’s shelter.

“We’ve been doing this work in the community for over 40 years so it’s natural for people to know us as the women’s shelter but over the years, our programming has grown and we wanted a name that reflects that,” she said, noting that in 2018, the organization housed 177 women and 91 children.

“The main objective going forward is to raise awareness of all of our programs and our society as a as a whole because, as an organization, we are always growing and evolving.”

Archway runs 16 different programs in the North Okanagan including residential and community programming.

In addition to the 25 safe shelter beds offered through the Transition House, other services include: child support activities and where possible, child care, meals and laundry facilities, recreational opportunities, transportation to appointments, accompaniment to appointments, referrals to community services and donations of clothing and household goods.

The society also has arrangement with the Ministry of Children & Family Development and provides up to two beds for teens in emergency situations. These are situations where the teen is at risk and there are no other options for them.

Other residential programs include providing support to young parents.

“We have an apartment building that has seven suites. This program supports pregnant teens and young moms,” said Demetrick. “It is such an incredible program as it works to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. Our staff help these young moms learn to cook, budget, look after their babies and teach them coping strategies and life skills to empower them to successfully rebuild their lives.”

They also offer a Homelessness Prevention Program that works with women that are at risk of homelessness. Through this program, staff work to develop relationships with landlords and assist women in finding and maintaining housing. Demetrick said, with the current housing crisis, demand for housing is huge and there is usually a wait list for this program.

Another service, offered through the Vernon court house, is called the Community Based Victims Services program. CBVS provides justice system related support to women, children and men who have experienced relationship violence, sexual assault or criminal harassment. Services include court orientation and accompaniment at trial, assistance with Crime Victim Assistance Program applications, risk assessment and safety planning and referral to other services. CBVS has over 450 open files and help an average of 50 clients a month.

The Oak Centre is the newest program and has been operating since 2015 as a Child and Youth Advocacy Center for the North Okanagan. The focus of this program is to help children and youth victims of physical and sexual abuse. It is a stand alone program that provides a safe and child-centered environment where children and youth who have experienced physical or sexual abuse or witnessed a crime are more comfortable to share their story with the police or social workers.

“In the past they would have to be interviewed in an interrogation room at the RCMP detachment, which obviously is not ideal,” said Demetrick, who explained that, since the Oak Centre opened, staff have seen an average of one child every two days.

All services are provided free of charge and are funded by a variety of federal and provincial ministries as well as other funders and donations. For a detailed list of services and programs offered, visit archwaysociety.ca.

“We’ve really been flying under the radar in the community and we’d like that to change because if the community at large doesn’t know who we are, then the women who need our services likely don’t know about our services either,” Demetrick said. “That needs to change.”

Archway Society for Domestic Peace is located at 2400 46th Ave., in Vernon. To contact staff, call 250-558-3850. Help is available 24/7 including holidays.

Related: Vernon Women’s Transition House responds to RCMP interrogation video of sexual assault victim

Related: Vagina Monologues help Vernon women and children escape violence

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on Facebook.

Just Posted

Vernon takes step towards cutting carbon footprint of its buildings

City council decided on Monday to adopt the BC Energy Step Code to improve its building efficiency

Spallumcheen adventure park concerns

Neighbour to proposed adventure park in Spallumcheen offers up his concerns on project

Entrepreneur gives Vernon’s homeless women a boost

The woman says she’ll continue to package and send out bags of products from her self-run business

Vernon mom rescues sleeping baby from burning home

UPDATE: Investigation still underway into cause of blaze

Access to Okanagan Rail Trail to be limited by erosion work

The work will be done throughout September but won’t begin before the Labour Day weekend

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

Most Read