By Michael Luba
Published: Oct. 6, 2014
Clasina van Bemmel, a first-time developer who plans to build a spiritual centre in downtown Squamish, donated $140,865 to the Howe Sound Women’s Centre to support long term housing for women and children fleeing abuse.
The funding was a community amenity contribution by Bemmel, and this donation means she won’t have to contribute to the town’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund. [manual_related_posts]
Sheila Allen, the director of women’s centre, thanked Bemmel and called her generosity a milestone in the centre’s efforts to provide long-term, sustainable housing for women and their children fleeing abuse.
The women’s centre runs a transition house, Pearl’s Place, but it is only available for short-term, emergency use. Women, children, and their pets can stay at Pearl’s Place Transition House for up to 30 days, but do not have access to housing support beyond that time frame.
It’s the reason why women’s centre started the second stage housing project and continues to seek funding from BC Housing and other partners to cover development and operating costs. (Good work providing background and context)
The need for second stage housing in Squamish was identified by ‘Project Melany’, a recent study focused on the housing needs of women fleeing abuse in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
The second stage housing will provide counselling, along with safe, affordable housing at subsidized rental rates.
The donation from Bemmel is the initial investment and women’s centre is discussing funding options with BC Housing and other partners.