Debbie Berg (centre), executive director of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, is delighted a new 30-unit transition house for women will soon be constructed in the Valley. Pictured is Berg recently receiving a $500 cheque from the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Branch 2546, towards Duncan’s Somenos House. The Fraternal Order of Eagles’ Myrna Sleight (left) and Maria Green (right) are pictured handing her the check. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

New 30-unit facility to be built in Cowichan to assist women escaping violence

Facility one of 11 to be built in B.C.

Women and children escaping violence in the Cowichan Valley will benefit from a new five-story, 30-unit facility that will soon be constructed in the area.

The new facility is one of 11 in B.C. that will offer more than 260 new spaces of transitional, second-stage and affordable housing for woman and children that was announced by BC Housing on Nov. 25.

The government made the announcement to kick off the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The total cost of the facility in the Cowichan Valley, and where it will be located, has yet to be announced.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the clients who will be accessing this second-stage housing, we will not be releasing the exact location,” said a statement from BC Housing.

“The housing will be fully funded… and BC Housing will provide the funding amount for the project once it has completed planning processes.”

The statement said BC Housing is currently working with the City of Duncan to meet municipal requirements.

“Construction for the second stage housing in Duncan is anticipated to begin in summer/fall 2020,” the statement said.

“The exact timeline is still to be determined based on the municipal processes required.”

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society will be the operators of the new facility after its construction by BC Housing.

Debbie Berg, executive director of CWAVS, said the society is often over capacity at its Somenos Transition House and its night shelter for women on University Way, so the 30 new units will provide much-needed and affordable accommodation for women in the Cowichan Valley.

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN AREA WOMEN’S SHELTER RUNNING AT FULL CAPACITY

She pointed out that the new facility will not be a safe house, but is intended for those women, some with children, who have begun stabilizing their lives and getting them back in order after leaving abusive relationships.

“This project will not only provide a place to live, but will also have wraparound services delivered from trauma-informed practice to assist women in rebuilding their lives,” Berg said.

“The women, those with and those without children, can live up to two years in the facility. We look forward to our continued connection with BC Housing on this project.”

The 11 projects are part of the province’s 10-year, $734-million investment to build 1,500 safe homes with supports for women and children leaving violence.

This is the first major investment in the sector in close to 20 years and will increase the number of transition homes by 63 per cent, according to a government press release.

RELATED STORY: ADVOCATES SAY WOMEN’S WINTER SHELTER IN DUNCAN A NECESSITY

“It’s encouraging to see communities and partners around the province working together to ensure that women and children have safe and secure places to go when they need help,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“Everyone deserves to live a life free of violence with hope for the future, and we are working hard to create more homes and opportunities for women and children to thrive.”

The government is also addressing gender-based violence by improving the economic security of women with expanded access to affordable child care, a higher minimum wage and improved housing affordability, according to a press release.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between the government and the BC Green Party and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Queen Margaret’s School graduates celebrate

Queen Margaret’s School held their Speech Day (convocation) with 15 graduates on site

Community pride always showed in Mansueti’s work

Retirement reflections revolve around so many projects and successes

Cowichan Valley rower takes aim at the moon

The 14-year-old took part in the Row to the Moon Challenge

BLM sign vandalized at Sylvan United Church

Minister hopes to have conversation with vandal

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

UPDATE: No COVID-19 at Nanaimo shopping centre as memo mixed up mall identities

Woodgrove Centre sent memo to tenants Tuesday advising them of positive case

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Most Read