Construction to begin on new housing in Vancouver for women fleeing violence

Construction is set to begin on Sylvia’s Place, a transition home in Vancouver for women and children leaving violence that will also support those with mental health and substance abuse issues.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the new building, which will have many similarities to the Taylor Manor supported-living facility in Vancouver, was held Friday.

The location of where the home will be is confidential.

Women and their children typically live in facilities like these for six to 18 months, and are provided with emotional supports and referrals.

“Sylvia’s place will feature 10 units in two separate houses, each with shared amenity spaces and services, including an on-site commercial kitchen,” said Vancouver-Hastings MLA Niki Sharma.

Sylvia’s will be an extension of Peggy’s Place, a licensed care transition home in Vancouver.

“In a safe environment, with access to personalized support services, we’ve seen transformational changes in our tenants, who have moved on to achieve their goals and live independently,” said Janet Smith, director of housing with the Kettle Society.

Shauna McQueen, a fomer tenant of Peggy’s Place, says her journey began after experiencing homelessness, addiction issues, and fleeing an abusive situation. She then transferred to Taylor Manor and is now part of the Supported Independent Living (SIL) program.

“With the support of the staff, I learned to grow, I became independent, I became confident, and I grew emotionally,” she said.

“Before I used to be very timid and shy and here I am today doing interviews!”

The idea of Sylvia’s Place is to provide a safe haven for women — a place where they can heal and continue their road to recovery with independence, just as McQueen has.

The facility is funded by the province through BC housing, with a $5.5 million women’s transition housing fund grant.

Construction is set to be complete in late Spring 2025.