Delta’s first transition house has finally opened its doors, providing beds for up to eight women and their dependent children.
Azure Place, the name of the house, began offering its services on Monday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 a.m. According to Lorrie Wasyliw, the executive director of the house, they had already welcomed their first resident by 11 a.m. on Monday and are expecting several more thought the day.
Azure Place is a first-stage transition house for women and their dependent children who are at risk for violence or have experience violence in their homes. It offers services related to their experience and risk, and is open to everyone regardless of their ethno-cultural background, religious beliefs, physical ability, health, mental wellness, social context, sexual orientation and gender identity.
The project was first started more than eight months ago, when a group led by the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) – South Delta requested $500,000 in annual funding funding for a transition house in North Delta.
The group had secured a house donated by Corporation of Delta and $122,000 in funding for renovations from the federal government and had a operator, Chimo Community Services, ready to go.
The province denied that request, then-housing minister Rich Coleman said, because B.C. Housing was in the middle of its fiscal year and all of its budget was already spoken for.
In March 2017, then-Delta MLA Scott Hamilton announced that the provincial government is investing $1.8 million toward the purchase and renovations of the house.
The project required the involvement of many organizations, not just the provincial and federal governments. The transition house ultimately included work from Delta Police, Delta Victims Services, DOVE (Delta Opposing Violence Everywhere), Deltassist, the Canadian Federation of University Women for both North Delta and South Delta, as well as the Delta Seniors Planning Team.
“The grassroots effort to establish this house has been truly remarkable and we celebrate the enormous contribution of those individuals who have worked so hard to achieve this goal,” Wasyliw said. “We look forward to becoming an integral community partner in Delta.”
-with files from James Smith