The Rose Harbour building provides secondary housing for women. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River’s Rose Harbour planning for more housing

Site provides second-stage housing to support women

Rose Harbour offers women a safe home environment and support services for women with or without children impacted by homelessness, abuse, violence or substance issues.

It is operated by the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society and is referred to as second-stage housing – a next step beyond safe homes and the Anne Elmore Transition House for women and children escaping abuse.

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Executive director Valery Puetz defines second-stage housing further.

“What we would like to do is provide housing for after the crisis situation,” she said. “We see daily the need for more housing.”

The first stage of Rose Harbour on Dogwood Street opened about five years ago. The plan is to add existing living units – somewhere between 35 to 40 units. Both Ann Elmore and Rose Harbour are temporary housing, so the society would also like to establish some permanent housing, perhaps with a mix of transitional and permanent space.

“We’re looking for a good continuum of housing,” she said.

To gain support, Rose Harbour has been trying to gather support from throughout the community to take to province for funding under its affordable housing programming.

“We were looking for letters of support because we were putting in a proposal to the provincial government,” Puetz says, adding they do not have a lot of response yet from the province. However, she says there has been strong community backing.

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The matter did come up at a regional district meeting last month after Area D Director Brenda Leigh was contacted by a board member about support for the project. Included in the SRD report for reference was a letter requesting support from 2011 referring to the original phase.

“I think she thought she could get money from grants in aid,” Leigh said.

Leigh had responded that this would not be a grant-in-in matter.

“We probably wouldn’t be funding any buildings, but we could give a letter of support for them to go to the province,” she said.

The board received the report but held off providing a letter until it can hear more about the plan.

Andy Adams, one of the Campbell River directors, made a motion to defer the letter of support pending a presentation by Rose Harbour representatives at a future SRD meeting.

He said there is other information about the project that had not ben shared with all the members of the board and “other extenuating circumstances,” such as land acquisition, though he did describe the project as a “fantastic addition” but felt the whole board should be brought up to date about the plans for Rose Harbour.

Abram asked if there was any time sensitivity to the request. Leigh said she was not aware of any.

“I agree, if you want to hear more about what the project entails, we should have them make a presentation,” she added.