Access Centre Services and Support

Resources & Referral

The first step for our clients is our intake process which determines what kind of services or referrals we are able to provide to each client. Once a client’s needs are identified, they are then referred to the appropriate Access program (disability, law, tax), or are referred to other community agencies where their needs can be more appropriately met.

Through our Resource and Referral Program, we also offer public access to a computer, internet, and phone, as well as a Free Shelf which we try to keep stocked with donations of toiletries and other necessities that clients are unable to afford on a fixed income.

Access is also a Legal Services Society Community Partner and we stock a large library of Legal Information from which clients are welcome to pick up and take home publications.

Legal Advocacy

Our Poverty Law Program provides our clients with legal information on a variety of legal issues, free of charge. We have drop-in hours on Mondays 1-4pm or you can call to make an appointment with our Legal Advocate. This is in partnership with the Law Services Society and the Law Foundation of BC.

The Legal Advocate assists with issues including: Residential Tenancy, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (Welfare), Canada Pension Plan, Disability benefits applications,  Employment Insurance, Small Claims Court matter and Human Rights Complaints. The services provided by the Legal Advocate may include preparing and attending to decision making Tribunals/Hearings and Court appearances.

If the issue is a family, criminal or immigration matter, the Legal Advocate will refer the client to Legal Aid for a referral to a Lawyer or other resources, as needed.

Disability Advocacy

At The Access Centre we assist, inform and make referrals to help the disabled individuals in our community to move forward with their lives. We provide client services for Income Assistance, Disability Status (PPMB and PWD), Canadian Pension Plan Disability, and medical and personal assistance. We are also able to connect our clients with mental health, addictions resources and traumatic brain injury supports in the community.

Volunteer Tax Program

We provide a year round, free, Community Volunteer Income Tax Program to help taxpayers with credits and refunds and prepare income tax and benefit returns for eligible individuals who are on a low or fixed income. We can assist individuals with preparing taxes for up to the last 10 years.

Tenant & Landlord

Residential Tenancy issues are a very common matter we deal with at the Access Centre. We assist by contacting the Landlord on behalf of the tenant to negotiate a suitable settlement to the issues at hand. If negotiating a settlement is not successful, the Legal Advocate, based on merit, will assist the tenant in making application for an Arbitration Hearing through the Residential Tenancy Branch. The Legal Advocate will also assist at the Hearing (via telephone conference call). Priority is given when the tenant has received a Notice To End Tenancy issued by the landlord as there are strict time limitation period to respond to the Notice.

SOS Let’s Talk Directory

This is an amazing Resource Directory from The Penticton and District Community Resource Society (PDCRS).

Our Dedicated Team

The Access Centre is staffed by a team of dedicated Advocates that work on behalf of the South Okanagan and Similkameen Region. We are professional law advocates, community builders, disability advocates, social workers, and volunteers with a deep connection to our community. We have a mandate that focuses on the steps that are required to improve the lives of those who are impoverished and disadvantaged.

Through our advocacy, awareness and action we help to break the negative cycle of poverty and spark a series of positive changes.  These changes benefit individuals, families and the health and vitality of the Penticton community.

Helping those in Need…

If you know someone who is in need of assistance and struggling with an issues that affects their quality of life and those they love then please call us. 250-493-6822. We can help individuals struggling with multiple barriers, and guide them through the steps needed to move forward with their lives, through advocacy, assistance and outreach.

How You can Help

The Penticton and Area Access Society is funded through donations from YOU, our community. If you are interested in helping those in your community with a cash donation, in kind contribution or are thinking about volunteering some of your time we would love to hear from you. We are the change. Thank you!

“Those individuals we serve along with the rest of the community of the South Okanagan could not do without the amazing work The Access Centre does. We LOVE knowing The Access Centre is one block away and that those we send over will be well served!” SOWINS

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