Transition House Support Line:  250.748.8544

How Donors Helped


We would like to share some of the stories of hope that we get to see as staff.  Due to confidentiality we need to keep the stories general but we trust that this will give an idea of the work that is happening.


March 2020

A Women's Night Shelter client who on first arrival was unable to even make eye contact or conversation at all, who couldn’t sleep but could only pace and talk to herself all night long, came back recently to stay. Staff were told by her how wonderful they are, how much they helped ground her and helped her begin to trust again. She felt quite bad when she first came and as time went on she began to feel so much better. There was a moment of realization of how much the staff meant to her which she came to once she was no longer staying at the shelter. She said there’s no way to repay the amount of support, help, meals and beds she received at the shelter. The chats with all staff helped her feel safe and welcome, and she wanted staff to know they run an amazing shelter.


Horizon's Pre-employment Program - one of our client's recently received a promotion!



AS OF Jan. 1, 2020 - our waitlist for children to see a counsellor has dropped from 60 to 47.  THANKS for all who generously donated financially so we can provide more counselling hours. 

Comments from December 2019 client feedback and program reports:

Me and my children felt safe, supported.
I always thought there was something wrong with I know it was part of the abuse... 
CWAV made me feel that I deserved to ask for help.

A client passed a test she has been working very hard towards - one more positive step on her road to sustainable employment!

A young son was able to go through the gift room and pick a gift for his Mom. A very touching moment!

My child has gained a voice!
Having a sense of belonging ... that I'm not the only one struggling
This group was better than I expected!

Some feedback/learnings from Gr 6/7 students who had completed the full Teen Healthy Relations program:
“Stay positive in yourself”
“Don’t touch others without consent”
“I learned a lot about others”
“Don’t bully yourself”
“How to be a more friendly person and understanding other people’s needs”
“How to be safe online and in the outside world”


Jan. 14, 2020 I went to the shelter today to make sure everything was in order and that we are prepared for the snow, wind and cold. One of our clients was waiting outside and she was well bundled up against the elements with donated clothing! I was so happy to know she wasn't standing shivering in thin clothing while she waited for the shelter to open. THANK YOU to all who donate clothing and other items to our programs!

It's our Women's Night Shelter One Year Anniversary!!



Greg Gerbis continues to volunteer his time to keep the Women's Night Shelter building in good repair.  Thank you Greg!

How the Women's Night Shelter has made a difference!


Bertha (not her real name) showed up at the shelter door on Dec. 20, 2018, the night of the “storm”.  She had heard the shelter was opening so she fought the wind to find it during daylight hours.  Now she was coming back for their opening time, but everything was dark.  Then she saw a flicker of light - someone with a flashlight was coming towards her.  They called out, “Do you need some food and a place to sleep?  Our power is out but you are welcome to join us.  We have candles, food and warm blankets.” 

This began Bertha’s connection to the shelter, to staff and to on-going supports.  Nightly, Bertha would journey back to the shelter for supper, a shower, some dry clothes and a bed.  Frequently she would tell the staff how much she appreciated being able to come to the shelter.  She said it felt like ‘home’.  She loved being able to relax and watch a movie before going to bed and one of her favorite special events was the evening they had a ‘make-up’ party; doing each other’s make up, laughing and sharing together. 

Bertha is a senior and over the past year some health issues as well as trauma began to catch up with her.  Eventually she needed the support of a walker.  Staff would watch her struggle to get her walker across the gravel path to the shelter.  Their compassion went beyond just giving Bertha a place for the night, food and company.  They advocated for her to have a more permanent home and in October 2019 she was able to get her own place in a supported environment.  

The staff and clients of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Women’s Night Shelter are so very grateful to the community for the financial and practical supports that made/make this a reality.  Over 200 unique women have been supported in the last year.  Currently we are full every night and turning women away.  Our hopes are to provide more space in the future to continue giving care to Cowichan Valley’s most vulnerable women.

July 2019

Somenos House:

We supported an immigrant woman and child who were at significant risk from a very controlling, manipulative partner. She came into Somenos House and despite language barriers now has Income Assistance in place, and is accepted to 2nd stage housing out of town.

Homeless Prevention Program (HPP):

A woman was awarded a bursary with the support from HPP. She was able to graduate from University as a nurse.

Horizons Pre-employment program:

A client  answered an ad for a job in Duncan which would be suited to her skill level. We updated her resume and cover letter and reviewed some Interview points and discussed some of the difficult questions ie: wage expectations, limited work history, etc. This client got the job and started in August with a wage fair to the position.

Women's Night Shelter:

Women self-describe the shelter as being their safe space and safe haven at the end of the day where they feel supported and cared for. We provide inter-agency support, offer referrals and recommend other programs to our clients including counselling, Somenos House when appropriate, and the Horizons program. Collaboration amongst staff and ideas for advocacy are going a long way to helping us see who is already getting services and where, and who is falling between the cracks and can use additional supports.

WAVAW Counselling programs: 

Two individuals with complex trauma histories have initiated contact to potentially become each other’s support. We had contact from a past client (2 years ago) who has rebuilt her life and is recovering well from a partner who was extremely abusive. She wants to contribute to and support others and is looking at volunteer possibilities.

Poverty Law Advocate program:

Several clients have come in for help with the registration process of the Sixties Scoop Class Action. Also doing more handyDART and GAIN service applications.

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