Every year more than 5,000 women walk through the doors of Squamish’s women’s centre, and the number of clients needing help is on the rise.
“It has gone up over the last three years substantially,” said Megan Reynolds, the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society’s resource development manager.
While the centre’s organizers are pleased more women are turning to its services, the centre needs help dealing with the masses. Last week, the society hosted an open house in a push to reach out to possible volunteers.
The centre, which runs Squamish’s only women’s shelter, has a team of 70 dedicated volunteers, Reynolds said. But to dedicate more time to clients and ensure people are connected to resources, Reynolds estimates the centre needs to almost triple that figure.
“We would love to have a year-round volunteer base of 200 people,” she said.
The centre wants to recruit support workers for the centre. Those people would help with the facility’s intake, handing out referrals, vouchers and providing clients with support and comfort, Reynolds said. That would free up the centre’s staff, enabling them to do more programming and one-on-one support, she noted.
The centre is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Volunteers would be required to work two, four hour shifts per month.
Howe Sound Women’s Centre also needs help with its fundraising second-hand store, Pearl’s Value and Vintage. The positions will give people retail experience, Reynolds noted, adding volunteers could work in the store within areas of interest — books, sporting goods, fashion. These positions require volunteers to donate one, four hour shift per week to the store.
The centre is also looking for volunteers who are willing to take on fundraising campaigns, Reynolds said.
“We just need volunteers to help with event logistics,” she said.
Anyone interested is ask to visit the centre at 38021 Third Ave. For more information visit http://www.seatoskycommunity.org/hswc/