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qathet SAFE (Safety and Advocacy For Everyone):

A combination of two separate registered Canadian charitable organizations that share a Board of Directors and an Executive Director.

Current Board of Directors:

  1. Bonnie Whelan – Chairperson
  2. David Southall – Treasurer
  3. Teresa Harwood-Lynn – Secretary
  4. Rick Berghauser – Director
  5. Emily White – Director
  6. Rayner Hart – Director
  7. Elyse Freeborn – Director 

Powell River & Region Transition House Society

Mission Statement:

Strengthening community by providing a safety net for individuals and families experiencing violence.


An empowered community free from violence.

Has four programs:

  1. Grace House
  2. Men Choose Respect
  3. Stopping the Violence Counselling
  4. Stopping the Violence Outreach
  5. PEACE (Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counseling, Empowerment)


Prior to the inception of the non-profit society Powell River & Region Transition House Society (PR&RTHS) in late 1991, Powell River tried to address the needs of women leaving an abusive relationship or situation by providing a network of volunteer families to receive women in crisis for up to four days.  Though the network of Safehouses was adequate for providing “safety”, it didn’t meet the needs of women for information, counselling, or other services and many refused to impose on another family’s personal home.  The newly formed board of the non-profit society began the work to find a suitable structure or house that might serve women and children escaping violence.  They applied for, and received funding for a home, in a residential area of Powell River.  This 9-bed communal facility, named Grace House is in its 28th year of serving the qathet and Powell River communities, having officially opened in February 1993.  Much has changed over the years as we have expanded to receive pets and serve all persons identifying as female. Our understanding of violence against women has evolved and extends to verbal and emotional abuse, and coercive control.  Currently Grace House is funded by BC Housing.

The name “Grace House” was chosen to honor an early Canadian Feminist, Grace MacInnis.  Throughout her career she worked tirelessly to advance the interests and rights of women in BC.  Grace was born and educated in Manitoba though relocated to British Columbia where she served both the province as an MLA and later as an MP until 1974.

In the mid 1990’s, funding from a variety of sources helped to start the other three programs in the Society. Initially the PEACE program was called “Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling”, however the name change was made provincially in 2017. Currently, these three programs are funded by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Powell River Community Services Association

Mission Statement:

Providing support and advocacy for community members coping with traumatic events and life challenges.


A safe community free of fear and trauma.

Has three programs:

  1. Police Based Victim Services
  2. Specialized Victim Support Services
  3. Poverty Law Advocacy


Powell River Community Services Association began in 1967 as Powell River Youth Services Association and became a registered charitable organization in 1978. At the beginning, PRCSA provided administrative and other supports to community groups to enable them to carry out projects and become established as separate independent organizations. Some of these projects included a group home for teens, Street Worker program, Family Support program, Dial-for-Help Line, and the annual Directory of Community Services and Organizations. PRCSA founded the Powell River & Region Transition House Society and was one of the founding members of the Life Cycle Housing Society. PRCSA also provided administrative support for the Send a Child to Camp Program and the Women’s Health Network.

In 1995, funding was received to set up the Specialized Victim Support Services program. In 2005, Powell River Community Services Association moved in with Powell River & Region Transition House Society. The Poverty Law Advocacy program started in 2007 followed by Police Based Victim Services in 2009. Currently our funders include the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (SVSS and PBVS), the Law Foundation of BC (PLA), and the City of Powell River and qathet Regional District (PBVS).