Left to right: Dallas Stober, Liberty Stober, Linda Stober (Stober Foundation), Allison McLauchlan (KWS executive director) and Ester Pike (KWS resource development coordinator). (Kelowna Women’s Shelter)

Left to right: Dallas Stober, Liberty Stober, Linda Stober (Stober Foundation), Allison McLauchlan (KWS executive director) and Ester Pike (KWS resource development coordinator). (Kelowna Women’s Shelter)

Kelowna Women’s Shelter receives support for frontline workers

The Stober Foundation is donating $100,000 to hire additional frontline staff for the shelter

The Kelowna’s Women Shelter (KWS) is receiving much-needed support during a time of need.

The Stober Foundation donated $100,000 to the women’s shelter to hire additional frontline staff, as well as to fund additional operational support.

Resource development coordinator for KWS Ester Pike said there are still barriers in accessing services for women coming from abusive homes, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the strain.

“Requests for shelter services increase each year already as is,” she said.

“Although COVID-19 doesn’t create domestic violence, there is a marked increase in severity and number of instances because of it and we are seeing this reflected in our daily work at the shelter.”

In addition to women seeking shelter, KWS’s frontline team also answered 670 crisis and counselling calls and conducted over 1,100 individual and group counselling sessions prior to and during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 only added to our support workers’ task lists and we were worried that burnout would increase because of this. With the funding provided by the Stober Foundation, we can ensure that enough staff are available at all times to respond to the needs of our residents and the general community while continuing to care for our staff,” Pike added.

Director of the Stober Foundation Keith Brewster emphasized the need to support the women’s shelter.

”We are incredibly blessed to be able to step up and support the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, who work diligently to support people in their most vulnerable moments,” he said.

“As a foundation, we hope our support might inspire others to get involved with the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, whether through their time, compassion, and/or resources where possible.”

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter support workers are available to residents at all hours of the day, 365 days a year and operate the shelter’s 24/7 resource line.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or need help accessing other resources in the community, call the Kelowna Women’s Shelter 24/7 resource line at 250-763-1040

READ: Elizabeth Fry, Kelowna Women’s Shelter collaborate on COVID-19 response campaign


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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