Women’s resource centre to re-open for two days a week

On some level, having the doors close forever on the Kelowna’s Women Resource Centre would be good news, explained co-ordinator Micki Smith.

On some level, having the doors close forever on the Kelowna’s Women Resource Centre would be good news, explained co-ordinator Micki Smith.

“We’re all here because we’re hoping we can make the community better and improve the quality of life for women to the degree we don’t have to be here, anymore,” she said.

“But unfortunately that time isn’t here yet.”

Fortunately for the women who use the centre’s services, however, the doors will open again Feb. 14 for two days a week.

By March, Smith said, they hope to be open full-time again, but whether that will happen remains to be seen.

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months for the St. Paul Street organization.

The B.C. government cut its portion of the centre‘s $100,000 annual budget this fiscal year to 27 per cent from 60 per cent and that dearth of dollars made it look like closure was imminent.

Then, at the 11th hour the dollars needed to stay afloat were anted up.

The City of Kelowna and the Thomas Budd Foundation each contributed $5,000 in emergency funds toward the centres operation, and another $10,000 came to the fore.

“With the emergency grant from city, matching donor grant, and other things that are coming up, we think we can do this,” she said, noting they had hoped to be open part-time by the start of the month.

Now the focus is on how to bring in a regular flow of dollars to the centre that helps 350 local women a month with everything from their taxes to getting appropriate clothes for job interviews.

“We’re kind of in the process of doing a lot of strategic planning and looking at how to become self sustaining in the long term, while at the same time needing to do what it takes to keep afloat in the short term,” she said.

It’s a tough balance, considering there is work beyond fundraising that needs to be done, and Smith is the centre’s only paid employee.

“It’s challenging times for all Not for Profits,but there’s a shift in our thinking that needs to happen,” she said.

“We’re really wanting to encourage support from the community.”

In addition to holding events, Smith said 324 donations of $25 a month, would keep the operation fully functioning.

They’re also partnering with community groups to raise funds, and this Friday the college group SIFE Okanagan will be raising funds for the centre with their annual gala.

“We are feeling positive,” Smith said.

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