An event in Abbotsford on Saturday brings awareness to the plight of a women’s residential recovery program and the need for more such services in the community, says the program’s director.
Angie Appenheimer, director of the Abbotsford Women’s Centre, said there are currently not enough services for women, and it is concerning that the centre might have to find a new location.
The centre – which runs a program by Adult and Teen Challenge BC – has been located for the last five years in a large house on a Winson Road property owned by the Fraser Valley Gleaners.
But the house is located in the Agricultural Land Reserve and in June the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) turned down a non-farm use application that would have allowed the organization to keep using the site indefinitely.
The ALC has given the centre two years to find a new home.
Appenheimer said the organization has submitted a “request for reconsideration,” while proposing an expansion to the existing garden beds.
“Gardening is a vital part of the program, offering outdoor therapy, mentorship, work skills, an appreciation of small urban farming, and the tools to sustainably care for their families in the future,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Abbotsford Women’s Centre is holding its sixth annual Victory Walk-A-Run-A-Thon on Saturday at Mill Lake Park.
Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10.
The event includes community booths from several agencies that help vulnerable women, including Life Recovery, Cyrus Centre, the Salvation Army, Peardonville House, Archway Community Services and others.
Funds will be raised for the Abbotsford Women’s Centre, and a portion of the proceeds will be shared with collaborating agencies.
Appenheimer said it is vital that the centre can continue to exist. She said the program is consistently at capacity and has a long waiting list.
“How can we further reduce services and displace women currently in their most vulnerable state who are embraced by their community as they transform and rebuild their lives?” she said.
Visit teenchallengebc.com for more information or to register.
– with files from Tyler Olsen