Staff and supporters of the Odyssey House women’s shelter in Grande Prairie are celebrating the completion of a new supportive housing facility. The facility, since named Serenity Place Regional Supportive Housing, will act as long term shelter to help women get back on their feet after leaving an abusive situation.
Past President of the Women’s Residence Association Cliff Turner says the desire to build the shelter was sparked by a cycle of regular people coming through the Odyssey House because it is only a short term emergency shelter.
“A lot of the women that came through just weren’t prepared financially or emotionally to move on, so they had no choice but to go back to the abusive relationship they had been in before. They’d be there for a while and then back in the shelter again and it would happen over and over again. We recognized the need that we had to have a transitional shelter.”
The complex is currently being furnished, and Turner says they are in the process of hiring staff that will be working directly with residents.
“It’s not just a place to live. These people need many layers of support. They need to be trained how to find a job, how to go out and rent an apartment, how to build a credit rating and things like that. As well things like emotional counselling, so we’re hiring the staff to do that.”
The $4.7 million dollar facility should be ready for its first tenants sometime early next year.