Women and children leaving violence in northern B.C.’s largest city will soon have more safe and supportive spaces to turn to.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced in a release on Friday that Prince George will be the next community to receive a housing development for women and children leaving violent relationships.
The development will include 18 transition house beds, 16 units of second-stage housing where women can stay for six to 18 months, and 21 townhouses that will provide permanent, affordable housing for women and their children to “regroup, recover and begin rebuilding their lives.”
Proposed support services to be offered include counselling, referrals to employment readiness training, and workshops about building healthy relationships, financial literacy and self-care.
The project is going through BC Housing’s development and approval process, with an expected construction start in fall 2019, the release said.
“All too often, women are faced with barriers such as poverty and homelessness in their journey to find their way to a safe life with their children,” said Kathi Heim, executive director of the Prince George Elizabeth Fry Housing Society, which will manage operations and tenant selection.
“This provincial initiative will provide women and their children the full continuum of affordable housing supports where they can take the time to rebuild a safer life and future.”
Over 10 years, the $734-million Women’s Transition Fund seeks to build 1,500 transition housing, second-stage housing and long-term housing spaces for women and children leaving violence. Two other transition homes have already been approved in Kitimat and Smithers.