461 Quatsino Boulevard
This project was designed with one goal – to ensure that women fleeing violence don’t live in poverty or experience homelessness.
Tamitik Status of Women is proposing to construct new second stage housing for women and children and low-income / subsidized social housing units, while consolidating our services to one location. The mixed-use housing project will greatly increase Tamitik Status of Women’s capacity to serve our clients, creating a continuum of housing options which will offer security, a supportive community environment, and opportunities for education, training and skills development for women and their children.
18 BED TRANSITION HOUSE (12 Beds, 6 Cribs)
Transition Houses provide short term shelter and related support services to women, children, and youth who have experienced, or are at risk of violence. We currently operate an 8-bed transition house.
10 UNITS SECOND STAGE HOUSING
Second Stage housing assists women who have experienced violence make plans for independent living. Women, with or without children, participate in the program for up to 24 months. We currently operate 4 units of second stage housing.
20 UNITS AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The lack of long-term affordable housing for women in Kitimat following a shelter stay results in an increased risk of homelessness, living in unsafe accommodations, and/or returning to an abuser. All lease holders will be women.
Being a predominantly shift-working town, Kitimat faces a disparity in its workforce between men and women. Tamitik Status of Women engaged the major local employers such as Rio Tinto, LNG Canada, Northern Health, District of Kitimat and RCMP, who all noted a desire to increase the number of women in their workforces. It also emerged that existing female employees were unable to take promotions or overtime hours due to the community’s inadequate childcare options for those who work unconventional hours.
The disparity in income between men and women in Kitimat is 6 to 1 for making $100,000/yr and 8 to 1 for making $150,000/yr. Tamitik Status of Women believes this is in part due to the lack of childcare options preventing women from entering the workforce or rising within it.
The daycare will have 60 spaces, including 36 daytime spaces and 24 overnight spaces. There will be 12 infant/toddler spaces, 16 school age spaces and 32 multi-age spaces in order to accommodate all the children of the community. Tamitik Status of Women hopes that this daycare will emerge as a symbol of reconciliation by partnering with the Haisla Nation to immerse the daycare in Indigenous programming. The daycare will feature the inclusion of Haisla art, traditional foods and Elders on-site to foster a connection with the children through story-telling and traditional learning. We believe this to be incredibly important as the most effective way to combat racism is to intervene at the earliest age before biases become internalized and ingrained. Tamitik Status of Women hopes this project will create a more inclusive and compassionate community.
The 24-hour daycare will be funded through the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Childcare BC New Daycare Spaces Fund.
CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICES
We believe that how an individual is looked after in a time of crisis or hardship is an indication of our community’s wellness. Locating our offices, counselling services, and anti-poverty programs alongside our housing programs, ensures wrap-around supports and reduces existing barriers in accessing our services.
Tamitik Status of Women currently works out of 6 locations in Kitimat, causing an inefficient use of resources and requiring clients who access multiple programs to travel between locations. The programs that will be offered from our new location are:
- Affordable Housing
- Children’s Counselling
- Community Response Network
- Community Vitality Index
- Homeless Prevention Program
- Interagency Case Assessment Team
- Outreach & Supportive Counsellor
- Second Stage Housing
- Sexual Assault Response Team
- Support Services UP (Angel Tree, Baby Needs, Food Share, Free Store, Furniture Exchange, Individual and Family Hygiene)
- Transition House
- Violence is Preventable
- Women’s Counselling
When we help women access the housing they need, we are doing more than putting a roof over their head – we are helping lay the ground work for broader social and economic success.
The project will be funded through the Province’s Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund. The B.C. government will provide approximately $10.3 million for constructing the new building and provide annual operating funding once complete.
Additional funds include Project Development Funds from the Canadian Housing & Mortgage Corporation and BC Housing, the Affordable Housing Fund from the District of Kitimat, and monies from a private funder.
As industry ramps up in our community there will be some harmful effects, including an increase in the incidences of sexual and physical violence. We have been planning our response – this project and an increase to our services – and advocating for women’s housing in Kitimat for over 25 years.
In late 2016, we seriously began planning this project. In early 2017, with the assistance of District of Kitimat staff, and a local developer, we identified 6 potential sites. Our development team* viewed these sites and determined that 461 Quatsino Blvd. was the best location based on cost of development (including hydro and water hookup, location of fire hydrants, etc.), property size, and proximity to residential neighbourhoods and services such as hospital and grocery stores.
During the last boom cycle in Kitimat, our programs and services were stretched beyond their capacity. It is imperative that we have adequate space and housing options available for women who experience violence in our community.
Today we require more program space for both our transition house and second stage programs. From January to September 2018 we have had to turn away 71 individuals who were seeking safe shelter in Kitimat.
We are proud of the support from Haisla Nation Council, District of Kitimat, and the Province of British Columbia to ensure that women and girls remain safe in our community.