Our History


For over 25 years, Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre has provided support, resources and programming for people in need in Oliver, Osoyoos, Okanagan Falls and the surrounding areas. From a small and humble start, we’ve grown to now providing a wide range of supports to all ages.

Desert Sun began as an alcohol and drug counselling agency, thanks to the vision and singlehanded dedication of Oliverite Terry Johnson, who saw a need in the community and worked tirelessly to meet it.

In the early 2000s, Desert Sun passed the addictions counselling to Interior Health but added Stop the Violence programming for women, PEACE programming for children who have witnessed violence, and men’s counselling to our list of services.

Since then, we’ve expanded in multiple grassroots ways: into seniors’ programming, parenting supports, and much more. All of our programs are offered – as they have always been - free of charge, and self-referrals are accepted for all services.

In 2014, Desert Sun's main administration office moved from Main Street in Oliver up to a brand-new office space on the Southern Okanagan Secondary School campus. We also operate an office on Main Street, Osoyoos.

Meeting our communities’ diverse and extensive needs is difficult, especially since our funding can be inconsistent. Desert Sun has risen to the challenge by hosting varied community fundraisers, including the always popular Gala Night, the Empty Bowls soup competition and, most recently, the Empty Bowls and Baskets online funding drive. Much of the work Desert Sun does is only possible because of the commitment of our event volunteers and the generosity of our communities.