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Women and children fleeing violence find new haven in Campbell River

First residents able to move in to Eagle Harbour transitional women’s housing before end of year
Part of the facility is the Campbell River Women’s Resource Centre. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Fifty five units of transitional and long-term housing for women and children leaving violence are about to be ready in Campbell River.

On Sept. 12, dignitaries, staff and community members gathered at the new Eagle Harbour housing complex in Campbell River to celebrate the building’s completion. The facility is five storeys tall and has 34 units of second-stage housing which will provide short-term housing with on-site supports, as well as 21 units of affordable rental housing for women (including transgender women, as well as non-binary and Two-Spirit people), who need a more permanent place to stay. The building also has community rooms, a garden, children’s play area and covered bike and scooter storage.

To the over 60 people who attended, the mood was celebratory. The facility has been in the works in some way or another for years. The room was filled with everyone who had a hand in the facility’s creation, as well as people who will benefit from its opening.

“This is going to provide 55 more units to people who are experienced that gender-based violence,” said North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. “We’re not expecting that all people that are in that second stage transitional housing are going to be able to come out and be able to find that accommodation. So so I think it’s going to be a huge step forward for this community.

“As we have that housing crisis, then transitional housing becomes longer and longer because there’s sometimes not a place for them to go,” she said.

Babchuk said that the province provided $20.6 million in capital costs for the facility, and would be funding 36 transitional housing units within the facility.

“This initiative with the transition housing started in 2018,” Babchuk said. “It’s part of a $734 million fund that should be able to make these transitional and supportive housing units for women, facing gender-based violence, and put them into the system so that we can serve them … I’m very proud of that, actually.”

After the event, people were given the chance to tour some examples of units, and some of the other amenities within the building. The two- and three-bedroom units are present on each floor. They are currently being furnished, and building manager Katie Suen said they hope to have the first residents moving in this October. However, that is subject to change.

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The view from the top floor suites in the Eagle Harbour building. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River Mayor Kermit Dahl speaks during the opening of the Eagle Harbour building. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
MLA Michele Babchuk speaks during the opening of the Eagle Harbour building. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
Shawn Decaire sings during the opening of the Eagle Harbour building. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
From left are Shawn Decaire, Valerie Putz, Lori Hirst from the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, MLA Michele Babchuk and Campbell River Mayor Kermit Dahl at the open house. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Black press in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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