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Help keep the child support program running at Dixon Transition Society.

Category : News

Jane and Nicole’s Story

Nicole is a Child Support Worker at the Second Stage Housing program, Wenda’s Place, and she is a vital player in the child support program. “My job is being calm,” she says. And it’s true. It can be very hectic at Wenda’s Place, and you can often see staff running up and down hallways helping women, dealing with property maintenance, answering the door, taking calls, and on, and on. There is always a storm of activity. When Nicole is working with children, however, she is in the eye of the storm, and it is calm there.

Wenda’s Place is a beautiful, clean, and calming space, with wood effect floors, cream-coloured walls and relaxing artwork on the walls (see it for yourself!). To you or me, it certainly looks like a calmer, quieter environment compared to what you might imagine an abusive one would be, but what does it look like to a child who might have only known a different kind of home environment? It is different, and it can be unsettling. Nicole explains that as a result, the child might have issues with regulating their emotions or expressing their feelings in a healthy way.

Mom, too, is in a new position. Whereas she was being controlled with violence and abuse before, now she is practicing agency over her life. But with that new agency can come new challenges. For example, she is now a single parent, and has to adapt to parenting under these different circumstances, in this new place.

“It didn’t matter what challenges we were facing, I knew that as a mom, I had to be happy.” says Jane, a mom who once stayed at Wenda’s Place with her two kids. “It’s tough, but it’s nothing that we can’t handle. I celebrated any move forward to show them that things are going to get better.”

The year that she came to Wenda’s Place was a turbulent one. She had relocated to Vancouver with her now ex-husband and their two children at the beginning of that year, not knowing anything about transition houses. By June, she could not take the abuse anymore and left. She and her children moved to Dixon House and after a month’s stay, they moved into to Wenda’s Place. All within a year of moving to a new city.

About her children Jane says: “My children were so frustrated and very scared. There was no way to live with him.” Separating from your partner or getting a divorce is one thing, she points out. “It’s different if the troublemaker is your father.”

When the family moved to Wenda’s Place, Nicole acted as a stable figure among the changes within the family’s life. “My children were struggling. It was so difficult. Nicole, I remember, decided to set a time for them to just play. Nicole and I, with two children, with cards, playing and modeling calm and stability. Then we could continue at home without Nicole.” Nicole also helped her apply for music lessons for her son so he could practice once a week. He did that for two years, and then he wanted to focus on sports.

She speaks with great pride about her son. When they lived at Wenda’s Place, all three of them were students, and she was a busy single mother student, constantly feeling guilty about the time she had to invest in work and school and thinking her children are still young and still need her. Although she made an effort to spend time with them every night, her son—then a young teenager—saw her working hard, studying, not having a lot of time to play with them, and he asked, “Is it okay if I just finish high school and work in a coffee shop somewhere?” At the time, Jane —ever a supportive mother—told him, “Of course. Don’t think about it. Don’t stress about it. Of course you can, if you want to, if you’re okay with the income.” To the young man, minimum wage seemed like a lot, so of course he was okay with it.

“Last year,” she says, smiling widely, “he came to me and asked, ‘How long do I have to study to become a doctor?’ He was challenging me!” Here, Jane is referencing her own budding career in the medical field. “He has a whole plan. He’s going to join a sports team, live in a dorm, get a scholarship. He’s planning and preparing for medical school.”

As she tells her story, Jane exudes confidence and calm. She has the air of a woman who knows what she is doing. But she points out, “If there was no support like the kind I got at Wenda’s Place, it would be very difficult to free myself and regain my dignity. It would be very difficult to support myself. When I came to Dixon, I was so frustrated and scared. I had $10 in my purse. I had to pay $7.50 just to get on a bus for three people. What would I do otherwise, if there was no support? How many days could I have been homeless with two children?”

Jane and her children have come such a long way since having to ask those questions of themselves. We at Dixon know that housing, food, and clothing are just the first steps to helping a woman live freely and independently, to break the cycle of abuse for herself and her children. Jane’s decision to leave her ex was one of incredible bravery and resilience, and it is no small task, but it was only the beginning. Nicole and the child support program were there for her family to help them continue looking forward as they rebuilt their lives.

Help keep the child support program running at Dixon Transition Society.

By making a financial contribution to the child support program, you show women like Jane and her children that you believe their tomorrow is just as important as their today.

Today, there are other children living at Wenda’s Place and Dixon House. They are living in a new home, very different from their old ones. They are probably attending a new school. Their moms are there, but they probably are aware that Mom has challenges of her own to deal with.

They might be worried. They might be sad. They might be angry. Today, the child support program is there to help them heal. It is also there to help them with finding piano lessons, help with homework, or even just having a fun outdoor space to play with other kids. Today, the child support program helps ensure a tomorrow of possibility, where they can realize their potential. Most importantly, the child support program helps create a tomorrow—a life—free of abuse.

Today, the child support program needs your donation so it can still be here tomorrow. Your donation will allow our Child Support Workers to continue providing healing, fun and educational workshops and activities. Your donation ensures that a Child Support Worker will stay at Dixon to be a model of calm and stability during a challenging period in a child’s life. You can help end the cycle of violence for a family today. Invest in the future and donate to Dixon Transition Society.

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Dixon’s 7th annual Christmas Jazz Concert

Category : News

Our 7th annual Christmas Jazz Concert, held on Sunday, December 2, 2018, was a sold out success!

Thank you so much to all of our friends and supporters who came out to the event to support Dixon House. It was so wonderful to celebrate the season with everyone: we are so grateful for everything that you do, during the holiday season and beyond, to help us see a world where all women and children are free from violence.

All proceeds from the event go toward Dixon House, our 10-bed emergency home, where women and children come immediately after fleeing violence.

At the concert, Dixon’s incredible supporters raised $8,700 for Dixon House! Buy buying a ticket, bidding on a silent auction item, or making a donation, the folks who attended the event are helping us provide our comprehensive supports to the women and children staying at the transition house. Thanks to them, women and children are able to access food, clothing, personal and household supplies, workshops, counselling, and so on, all at no cost.

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Give to Dixon Transition Society for Giving Tuesday

Category : News

In 2017, Joy had left Dixon Transition House.

She escaped her abuser. She found safety and security. She found hope and guidance with the staff at the House. Most exciting of all, she found independent housing. It took a lot of work and patience, but she and her daughter had finally achieved that independent, violence-free life. She had new goals to focus on: finding a job with flexible hours so she could accommodate her childcare, and making money to take care of herself and her daughter.

Joy knew that as the father of her child, her ex would still be in her life. But she did not think she would be seeing him in the doorway of her own home, a year after leaving him, moving to Dixon, and starting over on her own. She had to find somewhere new to live again, but the housing market was as unrelenting as ever, and finding another housing option that her ex didn’t know about would be difficult.

Housing is an essential service for women escaping domestic violence in most cities, especially in the Lower Mainland, where housing costs can be a prohibitive economic barrier. Providing free and affordable housing options is essential to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

Dixon was there when Joy needed a safe haven after escaping abuse. And when Joy needed help again later, Dixon was there for her still.

After over 45 years of supporting women and children, we know that housing is just one piece of the puzzle in rebuilding their lives. A continuum of care offered by trained staff is another essential aspect of our services and this is what makes Dixon Transition Society’s Housing Programs unique.

With patience and resilience, and help from the staff at Dixon, Joy found a new place to live, in the housing option she had been hoping for! Furthermore, since settling down in her new home, Joy restarted her job search and found a new job.

Her determination and strength has been incredible to witness, and we are so grateful to have been a part of her story.

Our funders and donors play a key role in making stories like these possible. Your donations contribute to the funds necessary to provide our comprehensive supports so that women can not only live after escaping violence, but thrive, in free, independent lives.

More importantly, by making a financial contribution, you send a clear message to the women of Dixon: You are important. You matter. We believe in you. We want you to succeed.

When women come to us, they face the incredible challenge of rebuilding their lives free from violence. Dixon Transition Society is here for them.

We offer a transition house along with second and third stage housing to address the range of support women and their children may need. In addition to housing, women and children are able to access counselling support, housing assistance, children’s support programs and much more.

Dixon House is often the first place women go to when they leave their abuser. As women often flee from their homes under traumatic circumstances with little time to spare, Dixon House seeks to be a safe haven for women and children from the moment they arrive.  During their 30 day stay, we provide the family with food, medications, basic clothing and hygiene products. We recognize that meeting basic needs and providing a healing and supportive environment has significant impact on a woman’s ability to begin rebuilding her life after experiencing violence.

We walk beside them as they face their challenges with grace and resilience.

By making a donation to Dixon Transition Society for Giving Tuesday, you show women like Joy that you, too, are here for her.

You support the women. You trust them. You want them to live in safety and security.

Give to Dixon Transition Society because you believe in women. Because you know that, with tools and resources, women can create a violence-free life for themselves, and their children.

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