SVPRO assists clients seeking support by liaising and advocating on each individual’s behalf. This may take the form of providing accompaniment to, and support at any necessary meetings, identifying the fewest steps possible to direct requests, or expediting the navigation of institutional structures and processes.
The impact of sexual violence is far reaching. After an experience of violence, harassment or harm, we may experience unanticipated costs related to necessary healthcare, safety measures, and overall well-being. We may find that it is difficult for us to work or study, which can have significant financial consequences. SVPRO can help identify resources that may help with these costs.
Enrolment Services Advisors (ES Advisors)
For students, ES Advisors can help access funding, including scholarships, bursaries, awards, loans, and other financial support. If you would like to explore this option, SVPRO has worked with ES to develop protocols that allow for time sensitive collaboration and service provision. Our relationship with ES is in place to protect your information with the highest degree of confidentiality possible. If you are seeking emergency funding or tuition reimbursement, we can help liaise and advocate on your behalf, accompany you to meetings, and minimize information sharing.
GSS Graduate Student Financial Aid
If you are a graduate student experiencing unexpected financial hardship, you can apply for financial aid from the Graduate Student Society for a wide range of expenses, except for school tuition. SVPRO Support Specialists can be of assistance navigating what and how much information needs to be shared for a successful application.
British Columbia’s Crime Victim Assistance Program
This program is available if the sexual misconduct you experienced took the form of a crime, such as sexual assault or criminal harassment. SVPRO can provide information about the program and eligibility. We can assist with the completion of required forms, and liaise with the program as a conduit for communication and information and provide supportive statements to enable claim approval. In addition the program also provides recommended counsellors that are within their coverage- our familiarity with the process allows us to assist in finding a person who is a good fit for you.It is not always clear, but you do not necessarily have to report to the police to access this program. Sometimes it is really overwhelming, and we can help with managing the administrative burden of accessing the fund. Processing of claims is not immediate and can take a few weeks to a few months.
See Housing section below for financial aid related to housing.
For students, short-term emergency housing is available to individuals who disclose being impacted by sexualized violence, usually for up to three nights. An SVPRO Support Specialist can help you access this support so that you do not have to share any details of your experience. If you need to access this service after hours, you can go to the front desk at Walter Gage and ask for the Residence Life Manager (RLM). Let the front desk know that you are connected with SVPRO, and we can provide documentation, even retroactively.
You should not be asked to pay for your stay if you access through this process. You can still seek access without going through these steps, though you may be asked to pay up front. If you contact SVPRO first, when you know you are going to need the emergency shelter, we can arrange everything in advance so you do not have to explain anything upon your arrival. If accommodations are needed past three nights, connect with your Support Specialist and we will work with you to figure out available options for accessing longer-term safe housing.
Options may be available for students who are currently residents in UBC housing to relocate and for students currently living off campus to relocate into UBC housing, when it might be needed for safety planning and related support and safety measures. SVPRO can help you request relocation, and SVPRO and Housing have joint processes and protocols in place so that we can collaborate and provide services in a time-sensitive way.
Requests to relocate are prioritized based on safety concerns, and relocation is subject to availability of a vacancy and approval by Housing. Vacancies may not be available at the time of any given request. SVPRO Support Specialists can also help you explore other housing resources and safety measures.
SVPRO can support you in understanding laws and processes related to tenancy in BC, for students who are renters, including those related to the BC Residential Tenancy Branch. This includes support related to paying rent, eviction, rental contracts, and safety in rented housing.
COVID Pandemic rent freeze for 2021: across all of BC, a rent freeze is in effect until the end of 2021. This means that no increases in rent are allowed during this time. Review the COVID-19 and tenancy information on the British Columbia government website.
Off campus, there are shelters and transition houses that may provide temporary emergency housing, depending on who needs to be housed, for what reasons, and what their needs are. A Support Specialist at SVPRO can help you learn about these options and, as desired, connect you with community partners who can facilitate access.
There are a limited number of transition houses and shelters in Vancouver, where an ongoing housing crisis has led to displacement and homelessness for many people. Crowding and high demand can mean that shelter environments may be challenging, availability may be limited, and space for personal items may not be provided. Some shelters and transition houses have conditions for access, while others are more low-barrier. Which shelter or transition house might work for someone can be influenced by many factors including their cultural background, gender identity and expression, languages spoken, needs, and many personal factors. We encourage folks looking into shelters or transition houses to connect with an SVPRO Support Specialist to help learn about and navigate options based on you and your needs.
Additional off-campus resources
While we do our best to provide referrals that are in line with our values, we encourage you to look into each resource to ensure you feel it will be a safe and comfortable option for you. Our Support Specialists are happy to explore options, share information, and help you get connected with these resources.
BC Housing Rental Assistance Program
Provides eligible low-income working families with cash assistance to help with their monthly rent payments. SVPRO can provide support with applications and related processes, including navigating intake, liaising on client’s behalf with consent, and acting as an information and communication conduit.
Vancouver Rent Bank
The Vancouver Rent Bank can offer a short term, no interest loan to families and individuals that live in the City of Vancouver and are at risk of eviction or essential utility disconnection due to a temporary shortage of funds. They can also provide a security deposit if current housing is deemed unsafe or unsustainable.
Purpose Society’s Rent Bank
For residents of Burnaby, New Westminster, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows, low-fee, no interest, short-term loans to low to moderate-income tenants (in these four cities) at risk of eviction or essential utility disconnection due to a temporary and unexpected financial crisis.
Shelters and transition housing resources
If you may need to access a shelter or transition housing due to not having any safe place to stay, support is available.
British Columbia Housing Transition and Safe Houses
Find and contact a Transition or Safe House near you. These resources do not necessarily reflect the values of SVPRO. Both Salvation Army and Rape Relief, which are listed by this organization, are not recommended by SVPRO because of their discriminatory policies that exclude queer and trans identities.