Become a Board Member

We find that women join the board because they are inspired by the work of the GVWSS and because they want to give back to their community.

We are a small group of women with shared commitments to non-hierarchical, feminist based processes of decision making. We value the contributions of women from different backgrounds and with different skills. If you believe in these principles, you may want to consider joining the board!

Purpose of GVWSS

The purpose of the Greater Victoria Women’s Shelter Society is to provide shelter and support to women and their children who have special housing and crisis needs. Our primary program is Margaret Laurence House, which opened in 1995, providing 6 units of safe, affordable housing along with support and advocacy services. We have operated other programs in our history.

Statement of principles

The first priority of the GVWSS is the provision of second stage housing for women and their children leaving abusive relationships.

The Society believes that adequate housing is a fundamental right for all persons regardless of circumstances…. The Society will seek to provide housing or shelter and will advocate for and counsel women seeking shelter…… Women, whether staff, board or clients, will be treated with respect and will not be subject to discrimination on the basis of race, religion, colour, age, sexual orientation, disability, or financial or family status.

Board Structure and Membership

The number of directors is a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12.  Directorship is open to any woman living in the Victoria Capital Regional District. Board meetings are held on a regular basis, generally between 6 and 8 meetings per year. Board Members will ideally commit to at least a two year term of service, renewable each AGM. Margaret Laurence House staff also attend these meetings. Decisions are made, as far as possible, by consensus.

How to Become a Board Member

Potential Board Members will share our commitment to breaking the cycle of violence and our concern about the lack of affordable safe housing. This commitment to the community and concern for such issues as poverty and violence against women is more important than related work experience or previous Board experience. We are also looking for people with experience in these areas: finance, fundraising, social work, housing, nursing, community development, and poverty advocacy. The GVWSS Board values the knowledge and experience that board members from different backgrounds can contribute.

Step One: Contact the GVWSS to express your interest and ask any questions you may have. You have the option to attend an Annual General Meeting, held annually in September, to find out more about the Board.

Step Two: Write a letter explaining why you are interested in a position as a Board Member and what you feel you can contribute to the Society. Send your letter of interest and your CV to .

Step Three: Meet with a minimum of two current Board Members to discuss your interest and how you would like to contribute to the Society.