It’s August, I am inside my home of 55 years and I hear a commotion outside. I casually walk towards the empty lot next door where people are starting to gather. I asked what was going on. This is how I found out the vacant land next door to me was purchased for a proposed transition house.
1 was taken aback. Surely, if this development is funded by the B.C. provincial government, why did they not canvass the neighbourhood prior to any announcement? Stunned, I walked back into my yard, looked around and can foresee the neighbourhood will no longer be the same as it was.
Nobody would be opposed to a transition house, we currently have one in Grand Forks. I understand it to be in a Community Use zoning for the past 25 years. The proposed site for the new transition house is in a R-3 Multi-family Residential zoning. Many questions; how a transition house that is classified as a temporary, 24/7 safe shelter that is utilized for less than 30 days be developed in this zoning area.
The following week I read the announcement in our local paper indicating the Boundary Women’s Coalition will work with BC Housing to explore the possibility of adding a second stage or long-term housing for at-risk women and children. Residing in Grand Fork for many years I can confirm the community never had a second stage or long-term housing, just a transition house.
The city welcomes the transition house and indicates it is a place that benefits our community. Does our city also support the same philosophy for the second stage or long-term housing in our community?
It baffles me what went wrong in this process, just not worth the speculation. I am asking the Boundary Women’s Coalition, BC Housing and the city to work together—how it ought to have transpired. I am encouraging the parties to be proactive and find a resolution for all the stakeholders. All stakeholders need to be represented fairly.
My well-being and security are important to me. The quality time I have left, I want to enjoy.
~ S. Kopan, Grand Forks