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What is Somenos House?

woman_head_in_hands.jpgSomenos is a comfortable and supportive place where women and their children can stay for a while, when they need safety from violence and abuse. Counsellors provide support, safety planning and information about resources at CWAV Society and in the community that can help with your next steps. Staff help you explore your options and support you in making the decisions that are right for you. There is no cost for you to stay at Somenos.

Who is welcome at Somenos Transition House? We welcome women with and without children from all walks of life who are at risk of violence or abuse from their male or female partner or spouse or a family member. We also accommodate trans-gender individuals fleeing intimate partner violence.

Somenos House is a program of CWAV Society. We are independent from the police and the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) although both the RCMP and MCFD do refer women to Somenos House.

Somenos is your home while you stay with us. We have 5 bedrooms and a total of 10 beds for women and children who are experiencing family violence and abuse. It provides a safe haven from violence in a confidential and secure location in the Cowichan Valley.  

Sometimes, women arrive at the shelter with very few belongings.  We help those woman or their children with everything they need to meet their basic needs, including clothing and toiletries. 

Residents prepare all of their meals, free of charge. Occasionally, residents will get together to prepare communal meals to celebrate special events. During their stay, residents are responsible for keeping their own room clean and tidy. In addition, each resident takes on a chore related to the keeping the shared living space (kitchen, bathrooms and lounge areas) organized and clean.

Contact Somenos House at 250-748-8544 any time of day or night. When you first make contact, you will talk with a Somenos House counsellor who will assess your situation and to determine if Somenos House is the suitable service over the phone. She will set up a time to meet you immediately to further discuss your needs. Women with and without children need to be comfortable with communal living, including sharing a room. As well, welcoming women with special circumstances may depend on the dynamics of current residents, including needs of children who may be in the house.

Once you arrive and settle in to Somenos House, you get support for a variety of situations such as obtaining housing, dealing with legal issues and navigating the court and legal system, building a safety plan, and emotional support. You can also be connected with other CWAV Society's counselling, victim service and pre-employment programs.

Typically, residents stay at Somenos House for up to 30 days. For especially high risk situations or when a client is waiting for housing, we provide flexibility in length of stay.

During your stay, we provide the following services and supports (at no cost):

  • A furnished bedroom, including blankets and linens
  • Food and toiletries
  • A change of clothing and sleepwear if needed
  • Diapers and other baby needs if needed
  • Safety planning
  • Court Support 
  • Access to support workers 24-hours a day
  • Assistance accessing resources in the community (housing, employment, immigration, legal assistance, income assistance, medical care, basic needs, etc.)
  • Referral to CWAV Society counselling, victim services and pre-employment programs

Somenos House is funded by BC Housing Corporation. Donations to Somenos House go into a Shelter Improvement Account that is used as needed for routine maintenance or for special projects that improve the functioning of the house.

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