The Women’s Resource Centre

The women who visit

The women who visit the Women’s Resource Centre are dealing with many difficult issues such as extreme poverty, illness, additions, family violence, homelessness, unemployment and legal issues.

On average, 300 women a month access our services, either over the phone or in person. There are no barriers for women to drop in and receive service of some kind. There are no eligibility criteria or forms to complete. There are no judgements and confidentiality is protected. We are locating in the downtown core and are a 1-minute walk from the bus transfer station. There is no cost to the women for any of our services.

A brief history

The Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre started 38 years ago and, until 2009, it received operational funds from the Province of B.C.

In 2009 and 2010, funding came from other sources, none of them sustainable.

In March 2011, the CWRC closed due to lack of funds—then reopened thanks to one-time grants from B.C. gaming and the East Kootenay Addiction Services Society. At that time, the Friends of the Cranbrook Women’s Centre was formed to help keep the doors open

Thanks to generous community donations, we have been able to keep the doors open.

Our goal is to ensure the doors do not close again—and we need your help.

What the centre offers

We offer lay counseling, advocacy, provision of emergency food and personal supplies, and emergency transportation to the local food bank and to access medical or government facilities. As well, we provide a public phone and a public computer to enable women to conduct business for example, preparing resumes, doing research on the Internet, arranging business and medical appointments over the phone and accessing government and community resources and services. A free store is offered to assist women and their families with their clothing, personal incidental needs, household items and furniture.

First point of contact

We are frequently the first point of contact for women fleeing abusive home. Women come to us looking for safety. We develop safety plans with and look at all possible options. What do women do when their husbands or boyfriends become violent? How can they escape? Through which door or window and where will they go from there? We also discuss the impacts of family violence on the children.

If someone is depressed, a connection may be made to counseling. If she is suicidal, she will be connected to Mental Health or taken directly to the hospital.

Positive outcomes

We offer support and a listening ear. We meet women who are emotionally and physically bruised and battered (by people and systems) and women who are dealing with illness, mental illness and addictions. We are seeing positive outcomes. The women we work with are giving back in meaningful ways. Some of them donate to the free store and the food cupboard when they something to give, some of them volunteer their time, others are helping us develop our garden space, and some bring other women to our centre to receive support.

The women we help are finding employment and putting their lives back together.