Thanks in part to a generous grant from the Central Okanagan Foundation, the Kelowna Women’s Shelter’s Inside/Out Violence Prevention Program for Youth now has a larger and more easily accessible learning centre.
Until now, Inside/Out worked out of a cramped, improperly-equipped space within the Kelowna Women’s Shelter facility, a situation which increased traffic through the building, and created disruption and a lack of privacy for Shelter residents and clients.
The $6,500 grant from Central Okanagan Foundation will allow the program to be relocated to a larger, better equipped and more accessible space.
“The move to the new learning centre will make it easier to get the anti-violence message to more young people, and stop the cycle of abuse before it starts,” said Inside/Out program coordinator Crystal Kneller.
“It is wonderful to see the Central Okanagan Foundation shares our commitment to creating a future without violence and abuse, and we’re so grateful for the support.”
First launched as a pilot project in 1988, Inside/Out is an interactive, community based program for students in kindergarten through grade 12. The program is designed to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in unhealthy relationships.
Last year, 400 students in 10 local schools participated in Inside/Out, which focuses on self-esteem, healthy relationships and dealing with conflict.
The program is delivered by practicum students from UBC-Okanagan’s Masters in Social Work program and the Human Service worker program at Okanagan College, who are trained and supervised by a staff coordinator.
Inside/Out is just one of the services offered free to the community by the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. The shelter also provides emergency and transitional housing, counselling and support to women and their children who have experienced abuse, and operates a Thrift Store at 368 Industrial Avenue.