In Canada, intimate partner violence is the leading cause of housing instability for women and children. Approximately 30% of Canada’s homeless population are women, 91% of whom have also endured some form of violence or assault in their lifetime. Organizations oriented towards women and gender-diverse people do not always have the geographic reach, resources, or capacity to provide adequate support to everyone who seeks out their services. This discrepancy between the need and the availability of resources perpetuates the cycle of violence and homelessness amongst this under-served group of people. [source: homelesshub.ca]

Campbell River and North Island Transition Society provides programs, support, and services to women and children on northern Vancouver Island who are struggling with issues of abuse and violence.​ Women and children fleeing violence need transition housing — and, eventually, permanent housing — but available housing is scarce. British Columbia has among the lowest vacancy rates in the entire country, along with some of the highest rents. And Campbell River’s vacancy rate — at about 0.7 per cent — is among the lowest in British Columbia. Low vacancy rates mean that rental homes are very hard to find.

Shelly Kernovich is the housing manager at Campbell River and North Island Transition Society. She spoke with People First Radio. Listen and/or download below.

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Image (top): People First Media/iStockphoto