Welcome to the Penticton and Area Access Society

– otherwise known as Access

With a small team and a volunteer board, we are working to change lives in the South Okanagan through poverty advocacy, awareness and action.

Over half a million British Columbians live below the poverty line. 1 in 5 of British Columbia’s children are growing up in poverty.[1] The devastating effects of poverty extend beyond the individuals and families effected to impact the whole community, including ours here in the South Okanagan.

Individuals in greatest need often don’t know where to turn for help. That is where Access comes in. Access connects those in need in our community to the support, services and resources they need to move their lives forward. Those we help credit The Access Effect to changing their lives and those around them.

Through advocacy, awareness and ACTION, The ACCESS Effect helps to break the negative cycle of poverty and spark a series of positive changes, which benefit individuals, families and the health, vitality of the Penticton and area community and economy as a whole.

Leading support agencies including Income Assistance Services BC, Service Canada and other levels of government refer clients to Access, as well as doctors, nurses and support workers. Often clients refer to Access services as a lifeline in desperate times.

Can you help? We are calling on Penticton and area to help us continue The Access Effect. We assist with 13,000 issues annually – that is 13,000 positive changes that ripple throughout our community to improve lives and, as the United Way says, move people from “poverty to possibility”. We cannot keep up with the demand for our services without your help. Donate now. Or Contact us to discuss in–kind contributions that could continue the Access Effect.

Do you need help? We can help you access the support and services available to you. We welcome all and intentionally create opportunities for those that tend to be most marginalized. [Link to booklet of resources here]

Want to learn more?

Advocacy 

We give those in need a voice:

  • Educate on legal rights
  • Guidance on landlord/tenant issues

Awareness

We connect people to the right resources:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Income assistance
  • Counselling

Action

We help problem solve:

  • Government applications (CPPD, CPP, PWD and income assistance)
  • Disability assessments and applications
  • Tax returns
  • Referrals to community services

“People come here because they can’t find what they need anywhere else. Their needs have gone neglected for years, it has impacted their health, income – everything about their lives.” Leanne, former Disabilities Advocate at ACCESS

“Access has quickly become the go to place in Penticton. On the street the word is – if you need help go to the ACCESS centre.” Elly, former ACCESS client and now volunteer.

“After the first meeting, people walk out of our office differently. It is the beginning of the Access Effect –as individuals self esteem begins to improve and they start to interact differently with the community, paying back bills, shopping locally and even volunteering.” Michelle – Access

[1] First Call, BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition