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55-unit building to support victims of violence open in Campbell River

Women and children escaping abusive homes have a safe space in Campbell River at the new Eagle Harbour building.

The five-story building was opened earlier today, sporting 55 units for women, children, and gender-diverse people leaving violence.

Executive Director for Campbell River & North Island Transition Society Lori Hirst says the project has been going on for seven years.

“It’s such a big need in our community for something like this, affordable safe housing for women and children fleeing abuse, at risk of homelessness, and we’re excited to be able to finally open up the building,” said Hirst.

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“Valery Puetz was the executive director before me, and she started talking with BC housing about seven years ago. It started off with her wanting to purchase three lots and three little houses, and BC Housing said to do a big building with 55 units of affordable and safe housing instead.”

She adds in Eagle Harbour, 36 units is going to be time-limited subsidized housing for women and children fleeing abuse, and with the other 19 will be long-term permanent housing for vulnerable senior women.

According to MLA for the North Island Michele Babchuk, a total of $20.6 million was invested by the province, through BC Housing. More than a million dollars in funding will also be provided to the building.

Consultant for the project Valery Puetz hopes that what people can take away from this building is peace and contentment in their life.

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“The people who come here for service get what they need, get the safe space, and can continue their journey through life in a way that’s more peaceful than it was before they came here,” said Puetz.

The province says residents will pay either 30 percent of their income for rent or for those getting income or disability assistance, the provincial shelter rate.

The society hopes to move people into the building sometime this October.

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