More housing, support coming to the Downtown Eastside
(Vancouver, B.C.) – For Sandra Pronteau, there is a sense of optimism when she thinks about Union Gospel Mission’s new Women & Families Centre. There was a time in her life when she needed a space like this.
“I wish they had this when I was a young mom. I probably would have used it,” Sandra, whose recovery journey eventually led to her becoming a UGM staffer, says. “I know when I see some of these girls come in, I see a little bit of me in them.”
The 77,000 square foot Women & Families Centre, complete with 63 housing units, will change the trajectory of entire families for generations - fewer women and children on the street, fewer children living below the poverty line, and a future where families can thrive instead of struggling to survive. The Sanctuary, a unique supportive recovery program designed specifically for women and operated through a Wraparound Model of Care, including continuing aftercare support for the program’s alumna, will also operate out of the building.
“I’m most excited about being able to provide a culturally aware and trauma informed environment for women and children for up to a 5 year continuum of care, where they can feel accepted, seen, known and enjoy relationships and support as they walk on this journey of becoming,” Tara MacDonald, Senior Manager of Women's Recovery & Housing, says.
This new building would not have been possible without the support of all 3 levels of government including the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, BC Housing and the Ministry of Children and Families, and the City of Vancouver, as well as many foundations, businesses, and individuals including Streetohome.
Working for UGM for the last 16 years, I am very blessed to say this new centre is run by women, for women. Open seven days a week for women and their children to receive hope one life at a time!” Candice Harper, Manager of Women and Families Outreach at UGM, says.
Our after-school program for elementary school children and youth development programs for pre-teen and teens will also call this new seven-storey building home. A new daycare facility, exclusively for women who are living in the new building, will ease the burden of childcare so they can focus on building a new life for their families.
“This Women & Families Centre is an example of how the B.C. government is expanding vital wrap-around services, including child care, for mothers who are building a life after violence or addiction,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Integrating quality, affordable and inclusive child care into this centre will enable women to get out of poverty by allowing them to return to work or school and build a secure future for their families.”
We welcome the media to attend our upcoming event, as we prepare to welcome women and
their children into this new space built exclusively for them.
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Thursday, October 28th 2021
Time: 10-11am PST
Where: 616 East Cordova St, Vancouver (@ Princess). Livestream also available.
If you plan on attending in-person, please RSVP by Wednesday, October 27.
Media Relations and Communications Manager
Cell: (604) 996-1417
Media Communications Specialist
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than
80 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter,
meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and
much more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of the mission is to
demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild lives and offer dignity to
those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.
Union Gospel Mission acknowledges with humble gratitude that our sites are located on the traditional unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and the Sto:lo First NationsBack to Media Centre