Azure Place in North Delta took in 130 women and children fleeing domestic violence in its first year of operation, though 600 more had to be turned away. (Contributed photo)

130 women and children fleeing violence took shelter at Delta’s transition house in 2018

600 more women and children were turned away due to the house being at capacity

A transition home for in Delta that helps women and children fleeing domestic violence had to turn away 600 people in its first year of operation, highlighting a need for more such services.

Azure Place, run by Women In Need Gaining Strength (W.I.N.G.S.), took in 130 women and children who were either experiencing or at risk of violence and needed safe housing in 2018. W.I.N.G.S. also opened a “second stage” housing project at a Delta church, where three families are now receiving support while they look to find a permanent safe home.

Gillian McLeod, the City of Delta’s corporate social planner, said it’s impossible to tell how many of the women and children who were turned away are from Delta because cases are dealt with on a first-come first-served basis, with Delta residents as a priority. That means those families seeking shelter at Azure Place can come from all over the Lower Mainland.

“The children and the moms are affected much more greatly if they have to leave their social support network and their school,” McLeod said about the way women and children are housed.

“What happens now is that’s decided individually, with the police or whoever is involved, whether it’s better for this person to be housed in where they’re from or somewhere else.”

She added that Delta could do with another housing program, however, funding allocated to these programs comes from the provincial and federal governments.

In its 2018 budget, the provincial government allocated $734 million over the next decade to help services such as WINGS with transitioning women and children into safe living conditions. Known as the Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, the money is aimed at paying for some 1,500 transition, second-stage and long-term housing services. Second-stage housing refers to projects offering service from three to 18 months, as opposed to first-stage housing, which is an immediate, short-term shelter for up to 30 days.

Brenda Cozens, house manager at Azure Place, said the primary reason why 600 were rejected is that the shelter — a first-stage facility — has been at capacity. BC Housing added four beds to Azure’s operations last fall for a total of 12 spaces, but Cozens said there is a desperate need for more first- and second-stage housing in general.

“At this end, it couldn’t happen soon enough for us, so we’ll see how it gets parsed out,” Cozens said, adding that she has noticed more women feeling comfortable in seeking out services, which she partly credits to social changes as they relate to the treatment of, and support for, women.

“For the second stages, the opportunity doesn’t come up for the women very often. It is tough, especially within a 30-day limit, to find reasonable market housing for women because a lot of them are on income assistance, just having started off on their own.”



sasha.lakic@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Semiahmoo Trail students surpass Coldest Night fundraising goal

Rocco Forte and his team are third-year participants in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year walk

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station upgrades completed

It’s the seventh station along Expo Line to see upgrades completed. Construction began in March 2017

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Former Cloverdale church elder will be tried in Supreme Court on sexual assault charges

Preliminary inquiry for Brian Batke case set for February 2020

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game in Langley

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Most Read

l -->