A selection of recurrent inquiries about Transition Houses, Second and Third Stage and Safe Homes.
What is a Transition House?
A Transition House is a safe residence for you (and your children) to go to if you have been abused. The addresses of transition houses are kept confidential so that women (and children) cannot be found. Transition houses are usually regular houses that are available in most communities and cities across B.C. You can usually stay in a transition house for up to 30 days, and sometimes longer, under certain circumstances. It does not cost anything for you (or for your children) to stay there. If you require support and information concerning your situation, you can call a transition house just to talk. You DO NOT need to stay in a transition house to get support and information. Most transition houses have staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to answer your call.
What is a Safe Home?
Safe Homes are private homes in smaller, often rural, communities where there is no transition house program. Safe homes usually provide a safe place for you to stay for a few days to a week.
What are Second Stage Houses and Third Stage Houses?
Second Stage Houses provide short-term, safe, affordable and independent housing, and some services similar to those provided in transition houses. You can usually stay at a Second stage house for 6 months to a year. Third Stage Houses offer independent longer term housing for 2 to 4 years.
What can I expect to get at a Transition House?
Transition House staff and volunteers are available to listen and to offer you emotional support, information, and referrals to other services you may want, such as legal, financial, medical, and housing. At many houses, staff will help you with transportation to appointments with other services. Transition house residents usually share household tasks and cooking. If the Transition House you contact for help is full if or when you are ready to leave, staff will help you to make other arrangements such as with finding room for you (and your children) at another transition house. Groceries and basic necessities are supplied at no cost.
Do I have to stay in a Transition House to get help?
You DO NOT need to stay in a Transition House to get support, information, and referrals to other services that you may want. If you want support, information, or referrals, you can call a transition house just to talk. Most transition houses have staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to answer your call.
Can I bring my children to a Transition House?
Yes, you can bring your children to a Transition House. Some transition houses have upper age restrictions, but decisions are usually based on the youth’s ability to maintain the confidential location of the transition house. Check with the transition house in your area for more information.
What do I take with me if I want to leave?
- Driver’s Licence or ID
- Birth Certificate
- Money, cheque book, debit and credit cards
- Cellphone/Change for pay phone
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Bank book and bank statements
- House keys and car keys
- Social insurance card
- Address book and phone numbers
- Carecard, medications, medical records
- Marriage licence, separation and/or divorce papers
- Child custody and access papers
- Immigration papers or status card
- Peace bonds and/or restraining orders
How can I locate a Transition House or Safe Home near me?
Visit BC Housing’s website below for the full listing of Transition Houses in BC.