S.A.F.E. Empowers Women


The S.A.F.E. (Self-sufficiency and Assets through Financial Education) Program provides critical financial education, emotional support, and a safety net for older women living in our supported housing. At risk for chronic poverty and homelessness, an older woman who has experienced relationship violence has a double disadvantage, “the abuse leaves her feeling fearful and ashamed and poverty leaves her with few resources for rebuilding her life” (Jaffe, Peter, Access Denied, 2002).

S.A.F.E. empowers women (ages 45+) to set life goals, build financial literacy skills, savings and self-reliance. Participants work towards creating a sustainable future that includes moving to permanent safe housing within three years. S.A.F.E. builds on expertise, lessons learned and foundations created by the successful two-year Rainbow Pilot Project which was initiated by Victoria Women’s Transition House and financially supported by generous donors.  

Participants in S.A.F.E. are beginning to set life goals through the PATH process.  The PATH is an individual process that assists a participant to move along the continuum from dwelling in the past to thinking of her future—a foundation for saving money each month.  She looks at her dreams for the future and then develops an action plan.  For most participants this is the first time they have had an opportunity to actually explore the idea of “dreams” rather than the reality of a day to day, hand to mouth existence.

Future steps include workshops and individual support sessions to assist participants to develop financial skills necessary to budget and acquire savings. Individual donors or small groups of donors can support a woman by matching her savings (up to $ 30 a month for 18 months).  Savings will be available at the end of the program and will be used to promote the participant’s self-sufficiency according to an approved spending plan. 


“I have learned so many new skills, organizational abilities and ways to budget. I never realized how difficult it would all be, but most of all, I never realized that I could be doing all of it.”

 “These are lessons that will help see me through my golden years and adjusted my way of thinking for financial stability.” 






(Comments from our Pilot Project Participants)

For more information or to donate to this exciting program contact Elissa Bergman (elissab@vwth.bc.ca ) or Joan Feyrer (joanf@vwth.bc.ca) at 250-592-2927.

Donations may be made through CanadaHelps.ca and designated for the S.A.F.E. Program.     

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Community Office, Suite 100-3060 Cedar Hill Rd., Coast Salish Territory, Victoria, British Columbia, (BC), V8T 3J5
Copyright © Victoria Women's Transition House Society All Rights Reserved.
Phone: 250.592.2927 Fax: 250.592.9279 Email: info@vwth.bc.ca
Charitable Number: 10817 3501 RR0001