SARA Services & Programs
All of our services are free.
Are you a woman in Mission or Abbotsford, BC who wants to escape abuse? SARA can help.
There are houses in Mission and Abbotsford with a total of 22 beds for women/children who are in crisis, escaping violence, or who are at great risk of being homeless.
SARA’s Abbotsford and Mission transition houses are safe, supportive emergency shelters that welcome women—alone or with children—and provide food, toiletries, and shelter for up to 30 days.
SARA’s Abbotsford and Mission transition houses provide confidential environments, where women can gather legal and income-assistance information and explore crisis counselling options, with help from trained, professional staff.
SARA’s Abbotsford Transition House: Call now. 24-hour access | 604-852-6008
SARA’s Mission Transition House: 604-826-7800
Are you warm and dry? Do you need a place to lay your head tonight?
The Warm Zone
This Abbotsford emergency facility is a drop-in centre for women who find themselves on the street. Here they have access to several necessities and services:
• full bathroom, laundry facilities, and lockers • some clothing and personal-care items • harm reduction supplies • internet and telephone (including long distance) • kitchen stocked with drinks and snacks and a hot meal each Monday, served between 2:30 and 3:00 pm • support workers and advocacy to medical and legal services • Open Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm • Closed Saturdays, Sundays & statutory holidays
The Warm Zone helps women who are living and working on the streets report “bad dates” and develop personal safety plans.
Extreme Weather Shelter
During the winter of 2019-2020, the Warm Zone was open from 8 pm – 8 am any time the temperature dipped below zero. There were 10 sleeping mats, and they were filled on a first come, first served basis. Bans did not apply during the Extreme Weather Shelter.
Do you have safe and stable shelter—an affordable place to “go home to” each night? SARA has three residential programs to serve women in Abbotsford and Mission, BC.
Christine Lamb Residence
Vulnerable women and children in the Fraser Valley can live safe and stable lives and have access to counselling, outreach supports, and many unique programs at this 41-unit, supported second-stage housing program in Abbotsford. Read about Christine Lamb here: Christine Lamb story
Santa Rosa Place Residence
Santa Rosa Place is a home for women and their children from Mission or Abbotsford. Thirteen self-contained units make up this second-stage transitional housing program located in downtown Mission. Women who live at Santa Rosa Place are alcohol and drug-free.
Penny’s Place in Abbotsford is a first-stage housing program that is home to six women who may be active in an addiction, experiencing mental health concerns, and/or be street engaged. Each resident has her own room with a locking door and shares common areas of the house. Substance use, smoking, or guests are not allowed in this home.
Download a copy of SARA’s Housing Application here.
COUNSELLING & SUPPORT
There are offices in Mission and Abbotsford that are places where women can come for support and access to a variety of programs and services. Outreach, counselling, and referral are delivered one-on-one or in group sessions for women and their children.
Stopping the Violence Counselling (STV):
Stopping the Violence counselling is for any woman who has experienced violence, abuse, and/or trauma in her life. Some of the women seeking STV counselling services may have experienced:
- a single recent incident of physical or sexual violence
- prolonged physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, verbal or financial abuse
- long-term effects of childhood abuse.
Women’s Support Groups:
Groups provide psycho-education and support to women who have experienced various forms of trauma and/or abuse in relationships. Women have the opportunity to:
- network and connect with other women
- have a greater understanding of the complexities of their experiences
- shift responsibility for the abuse to the abuser
- understand the societal context for violence against women
- discover personal strengths
- experience empowerment.
Individual counselling and group counselling are provided at no cost for women
Women exiting abuse violence and exploitation (WEAVE)
WEAVE PROGRAM is for women who want to leave the sex trade 604-746-3301
The WEAVE project at the Warm Zone falls under the leadership of The Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver (EFry) who is acting as the contracted service provider in a three agency delivery model: (EFRY, Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) and SARA for women (SARA). The project draws from the resources of the three agencies to assist women in Abbotsford to exit prostitution. Outreach workers will connect with the women involved in prostitution in the community or returning to the community from prison and who want to exit from prostitution. Psycho-educational groups, safe housing, addiction counselling and treatment, and clinical counselling will form a continuum of services. Through case management, women will engage in activities to increase their community support and address their health, education, employment, and parent needs to best prepare them to exit the sex trade.
The Program for Children and Youth Experiencing Violence
Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling and Empowerment (PEACE)
The PEACE program provides a safe and supportive environment for children and youth ages 4-18, who have had exposure to violence, abuse and or trauma. Children must be living away from the abusive person. The program provides:
- short term education about violence, abuse and or trauma
- individual and group counselling for children and youth
- parental education and support groups for caregivers.
Children and youth are provided with education and information regarding:
- abuse, personal rights, responsibilities, and safety
- appropriate management of feelings
- how they are not alone
- breaking the intergenerational cycle of abuse
- building self-esteem
- teaching non-violent ways of resolving conflict
- and that abuse is never their fault.
SARA’s Outreach program in the Abbotsford and Mission area provides free and confidential support to women (and their dependent children) who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse, threats or violence. It is available to women of all ethnic backgrounds who need information, advocacy, support, or accompaniment to access community and/or government agencies.
SARA may support women with:
- Emotional and practical support
- Walk in Crisis Support
- Aboriginal Women’s Support
- Referral Support to other agencies
- Individual or group support in both English and Punjabi language
- Punjabi Speaking staff-bridging language barriers
- Pregnancy Outreach
- Parenting Support/Information
- Support in securing safe housing (Transition and BC Housing)
- Legal Advocacy and Accompaniment (support with family law issues/applying for Legal Aid, and support in accessing victim services)
- Support with applying for Financial Assistance (Income Assistance, Rental Assistance and Child Care Subsidy)
- Support with case conferences with Ministry of Children and Families Development
- Public education and presentations
- Job Skills & Re-entering the work field (access support).
Clients of SARA have free access to legal information booth in which they can receive up to 30 minutes of summary advice in Family Law. The Legal Booth offers free legal advice, information to relevant agencies and may be able to provide one – on-one assistance with completing legal documents.
The inter-agency service provided by a lawyer is reserved for women participating in SARA programs. Referrals are done through SARA program staff only. The lawyer will provide you with support and information you need to help make informed decisions regarding your legal issues.
For more information please contact us in Abbotsford at 604 855-3363, by fax at 604 855-9583 or via email AbbotsfordOutreach@saraforwomen.ca or in Mission at 604 820-8455, by fax at 604 820-8495 or via email MissionOutreach@saraforwomen.ca
Baby’s Best Chance Pregnancy Outreach
Baby’s Best Chance programs support healthy living for women. We support women throughout their pregnancies until six months after delivery, by promoting positive health practices and adequate weight gain for both the mother and child.
“Baby’s Best Chance” Pregnancy Outreach Program is dedicated to providing women who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies, teens, women with drug or alcohol concerns, and women with low income with the following services:
- pre-natal classes
- bi-weekly lunches
- pre-natal vitamins
- group and one-on-one support
- outreach services
- referrals to other community resources
- dietary and health information.
Telephone: 604.820.8455 Fax: 604.820.8495 POPOutreach@saraforwomen.ca
Groups for Moms
Each lunch provides an opportunity for clients to get answers to their health-related questions, from a nurse and counselor and to socialize over a nutritious lunch. For more information call 604-820-8455 (ext: 603).
“Young Adults Positively Parenting Independently and Enthusiastically” Support Group (YAPPIE)
This group is based on the “Nobody’s Perfect” program, focusing on parenting skills and serving as a social support network for women in the months following childbirth. The program provides childcare services, transportation to and from the group, snacks, speakers, and is open to any woman who has recently had a baby. Women new to the Mission area are warmly welcomed to attend. For more information call 604-820-8455 (ext: 603).
FRONYA THRIFT BOUTIQUE
Fronya Thrift Boutique opened in May 2008 and is the first social enterprise project of SARA For Women, a non-profit organization that provides safe refuge for women and children facing violence. Profits from the store support programs to help women & children. As a proud part of Downtown Mission, we love to get involved in community events. Carol, Fronya Manager, has integrated a training program to help women re-enter the work force. This training gives women confidence that they need to find work. It also teaches cash and Customer Service skills, the latter being our #1 priority.
Fronya has twelve outstanding volunteers, many of whom have been with us for for more than five years. Fronya represents Free-Spirited Independent Woman, and that is what the staff and volunteers hope women will become, when they come to Fronya Thrift Boutique, where smiles are free!
Fronya Thrift Boutique is open Monday through Friday: 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm; Closed Sundays & statutory holidays.