Who Uses the Women’s Centre & What the Heck Do We Do Here?
Updated: Sep 6
If you’ve read my previous entries I’ve tried to give a history of the Centre (at least from my own point of view), so now hopefully you have a general sense of how we came to be. I also touched a little on the type of work we do. But I do get asked, on a fairly regular basis, why women come to the Centre. My first response to that is that not only do women come to the Centre, but a lot of women come to the centre. In any given month we accommodate about 450 visits. This is even more remarkable when you take into account that the Centre is only opened 20 hours a week.
Women come to the Centre for a variety of reasons: they are in crisis and need someone to talk to, they want to check their social media, they need help filling out forms, they want to access our Poverty Relief Programme, they are feeling lonely and want to connect with other women, they need information about resources, they need help in problem solving some aspect of their life, they need their income taxes done. They duck in to get out of the rain, the snow or the heat. They grab a cup of coffee while they wait for the bus. They sit and knit, they play the ukulele, they doodle or colour pages in adult colouring books, they try on clothes, they use the shower at Rose Harbour. I have several women who just drop by because they want a hug.
Although we see many young moms, about 40% of the women who come to us are over the age of 50. Approximately 50% of the women we see self-identify as First Nations.
The wonderful and sometimes terrifying thing about working at the Centre is that we never know who is walking in the door – or what their specific needs will be. Because we seldom take scheduled appointments we can often respond to client needs in a more flexible immediate way then a more structured organization would be able to do.
The sound scape in our tiny Centre ranges from a meditative quiet to a dull roar and everything in between. The mood in the Centre is sometimes sad, often happy. It is always vibrant.