It’s a turning point for women in the North Okanagan/Vernon area.
The John Howard Society has been rebranded to Turning Points Collaborative Society with a focus on housing, addictions recovery, and mental health.
Co-director Kelly Fehr says the society is offering women addiction services and supportive housing options that were historically offered just to men.
“Historically in Vernon, there have been major gaps in supportive housing and addictions recovery options for women and so that’s something our board of directors really recognized,” Fehr said during a press conference on Friday.
He said the board has “implemented a game plan” to ensure women would finally receive the same services as men.
For example, new funding from Interior Health has allowed eight beds to open for women at Bill’s Place for people recovering from addictions. There are also a few beds available at Haven Place which has sober living suites. As well, the Creekside harm reduction program opened its doors to women last October.
“We’re providing services to an average of 45 women per night between housing shelter and program service delivery,” explained society president Steve McVarnock. “We’re trying to reach out with a wider service support net.”