At the BC Women’s Health Foundation, we strive to foster an online community of organizations and partners leading with commitment, compassion, and resilience.
Women’s* distinct health needs persist, while our health system is stretched much beyond what used to be considered “normal.”
We use the term women* to encapsulate self-identified women, trans women, non-binary and two spirit people.
There are women-centred organizations across the province working on the frontlines of change — serving the needs of their communities, driving change, and moving the needle towards equity.
Today, we offer just eight examples of such organizations. There are so many more, and we will continue to profile others in the coming weeks.
Many of our followers have expressed feeling daunted in isolation. It can be challenging to know where to start to possibly make a difference. We offer this simple way to stay involved from your own home. Read their articles, follow them on social media, or even share your own posts.
This article was written on Wed, April 1 and circumstances are evolving by the minute. So we always encourage you to look directly to these organizations for their updates on their COVID-19 response and services.
Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC)
About: EVA BC develops and delivers training and provides a wide range of resources related to sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and criminal harassment.
Their response: Our Foundation is working collaboratively with EVA BC to provide much needed resources to women’s shelters, transition houses, and organizations serving women who are experiencing violence. Support women from across the province to get the emergency support they need.
Options for Sexual Health
About: Options for Sexual Health is Canada’s largest non-profit provider of sexual health care through clinics, education & Sex Sense.
Their response: They are now providing sexual health visits through telemedicine for those in communities impacted by COVID-19 closures and who are without access to sexual health services. Their Sex Sense team is still there for you, Monday to Friday 9 am to 9 pm, giving you an opportunity to ask a ‘sexpert’ for information.
Central City Foundation
About: Central City Foundation provides safe, secure and affordable spaces for community organizations.
Their response: They are working with property managers to implement extraordinary measures to keep Downtown Eastside single room occupants (SRO) residents safe. Read their COVID-19 statement.
Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS)
About: The BWSS takes action to end violence against women & girls through direct services, awareness raising & advocating for systemic & institutional change.
Their response: The BWSS crisis line remains open, providing emotional support to those experiencing gender-based domestic violence and/or uncertainty during these difficult times. Visit their website for full contact details.
Aboriginal Mother Centre
About: the Aboriginal Mother Centre is a non-profit providing transformational housing, licensed daycare, family wellness, homelessness outreach, community kitchen, and employment & training programs.
Their response: They are offering meals to go from noon to 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 2019 Dundas Street in Vancouver, BC. You can read their full list of services on their site.
WISH Drop-in Centre Society
About: If you need a safe, welcoming and non-judgemental space, WISH is open to all self-identified women, including trans women, who are current or former sex workers.
Their response: The centre is still open from 6pm overnight until noon at 330 Alexander Street. Women get meals, in addition to harm reduction supplies, and access to a nurse. The Mobile Access Project (MAP) Van is still available through window services. Learn about their full list of services on their website.
TRANS CARE BC
About: Trans Care BC supports the delivery of equitable and accessible care, surgical planning, and peer and community support for trans people across the province.
Their response: They will continue to offer information about gender-affirming healthcare, resources and peer/community supports via phone and or email. Visit their website to get in touch.
Follow them: Facebook
About: The YWCA’s vision is Achieving Women’s Equality through economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.
Their response: Their employment centres are offering support via phone and email. They are shifting their workshops and events online. Plus they have a great roster of COVID-19 resources for women on their website.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Learn – read these organizations’ COVID-19 statements, and look for articles on your own feeds that consider the impacts of COVID-19 on women.
- Amplify – want us to recognize an organization doing great work in your community? Tag us on twitter @bcwomensfdn, and we’ll retweet.
- Contribute in your own way – whether that’s by donating, or spreading awareness on social media. Everything counts.
Keep learning: read about our two COVID-19 Response Funds, established to respond quickly and effectively to the emerging needs of BC Women’s staff, women and their communities.
BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of qualified healthcare professionals with any questions specific to your medical condition. For more information, visit HealthLinkBC.ca.