New program to aid South Okanagan women at risk

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PENTICTON - A Penticton society that supports women at risk will benefit from seized proceeds of crime.

The South Okanagan Women in Need Society will receive $25,000 from a $7.2 million grant fund combining $5.5 million from the Civil Forfeiture Office and $1.69 million from criminal forfeiture proceeds, the B.C. government announced yesterday, March 29.

The society will use the funds on a project known as ROUTESS: Resources, Outreach, Understanding to Effectively Provide Support and Services to Vulnerable Women.

The service will provide two part-time outreach workers with a mobile van to connect with vulnerable women in the sex trade and young women who risk exploitation in the Penticton area.

The outreach workers will provide vulnerable women with immediate support of basic needs and connect them with local services, including police. Project partners such as the Aboriginal Friendship Centre and Osoyoos RCMP victim services program will provide more one-on-one support, enhancing participants’ safety.

The South Okanagan Women in Need Society is a registered, local non-profit society that provides service for women who have, or who are at risk of experiencing violence or abuse in the South Okanagan.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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