The Shuswap Area Family Emergency Society (SAFE) was established in 1979 by a group of women in the community who recognized the need for a women’s shelter/safe haven for women experiencing violence in the home. This grassroots organization was built support and conjunction with the women’s movement in the 1970’s. As a registered not for profit (NFP) organization, the SAFE Society has had to adapt and evolve its governance structure to accommodate the demands from funders and community stakeholders.

Accounting and Audit

To ensure financial transparency the SAFE Society has an annual audit. Administrative staff use generally accepted accounting procedures.


The SAFE Society typically employs 21 people, has 4 active volunteers, and mentors practicum students throughout the year. It is governed by a Carver board of directors. The Executive Director oversees the day to day operations of the agency in multiple areas such as administration, counselling, promotions, community development, grant writing and fundraising.

Service Delivery

The SAFE Society has a client centered approach to support services. This means there’s an emphasis on NOT telling people what to do, but enabling and empowering people to discover their own solutions.  This is done by providing non judgmental support and information that can empower the decision making process.

Brief History

Opening of the Women’s Emergency Shelter in Salmon Arm in a hotel room and rented houses.

Purchased a new location with the help of a low interest mortgage from BC Housing Management Commission and were able to relocate to a three bedroom home close to downtown core.

The Stopping the Violence and Children Who Witness Abuse (now the PEACE Program) Programs were established with funding from Women’s Equality.

Interior Health Authority Community Counselling Program established support group facilitation for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Police Based Victim Services and Community Based Victims Services were established with the support of local and provincial Ministries.

Purchased lot for new property with the help of community donations and fundraising drives.

Contracted with Sandy Ridge Construction to oversee the construction of new Transition House in partnership with Shuswap Construction Industry Professionals, School District #83, and Okanagan College students from the Residential Construction Program.

Moved into new house that had eight bedrooms, secured outdoor area, wheelchair accessible, senior areas, children’s areas, library space, laundry facilities and counseling areas.