We are so proud to share some good news with you.
This morning, we learned that the provincial government is moving forward with plans to build 280 new housing units specially earmarked for women and children fleeing violence. This is Phase I of a commitment of $734 million over 10 years to build supportive housing for those who need it most- the first investment in 20 years in supportive housing.
Today's announcement is the first step to creating a much-needed network of housing that is safe and affordable that provides a connection to support staff. This is so important for women and their families that need a safe place to find shelter, stability, and an opportunity to reconnect with their communities.
We applaud the provincial government for prioritizing vulnerable women and children. This is what a government that cares about people looks like!
We learned today that the housing units will be province-wide and include 12 projects in 4 regions including the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the interior and the north. By providing more supportive housing units for women and children we can help women get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.
Front-line workers in women's support services have been calling for urgent action for a long time.
We know first-hand that escaping the cycle of violence can be extremely difficult for women who feel they have nowhere else to go. We've heard heartbreaking stories of a lack of shelter beds and options for women in dangerous situations and our members like you that are often working in crisis situations.
That's why safe and affordable supportive housing was one of the key recommendations that our members brought to the table at the 2017 strategic dialogue about the state of women's support services in B.C. We delivered our report Collective Wisdom: Challenges and Opportunities in BC's Women's Services to decision-makers last year.
We are so proud to see our recommendations come to life. We also know that today's announcement is only a drop in the ocean of what is truly needed, but we are so pleased to start down this path of having more supportive housing options across the province.
Thank you for all that you do every day to make this happen.
Stephanie Smith, President
Andrea Duncan, Vice-President Component 3, Community Social Services
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