For the Attention of:
Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of BC
Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing
Mr. Shayne Ramsay, CEO, BC Housing
Ms. Catherine Talbott, Executive Director, Provincial Office of Domestic Violence
On behalf of the BC Society of Transition Houses (BCSTH), I am writing in full support of the Working Group for a Delta Transition House for Women and Children Fleeing Family Violence. This group is dedicated to open and operate a much-needed Transition House in the community of Delta, BC.
BCSTH provides support and training to over 125 Transition, Second and Third Stage Houses, Safe Homes, and over 90 Children Who Witness Abuse programs and affiliated counselors across BC.
Currently, Delta has no Transition House and this is placing pressure on services in surrounding areas as well as limiting the options of women requiring safety in Delta. Chimo Community Services have reported that in a three year period, 281 women and 152 children were turned away from Nova Transition House in Richmond due to lack of capacity. Other studies also confirm the desperate shortage of safe shelter for those experiencing violence and demonstrate that the availability of safe shelter for women and children fleeing violence is at a crisis point in BC and across Canada. In a 2012 report, in just one day, 71 women in British Columbia were turned away from Transition Houses. According to a 2014 national survey, 73% of potential new residents in Transition Houses across Canada could not be accommodated during the 24-hour survey period.
With a house donated by the City of Delta and $122,000.00 secured from the federal government to renovate and make it accessible for women and children fleeing violence, there exists a compelling opportunity, existing community support and a viable partnership to respond to a dangerous gap in service provision in the Lower Mainland.
The reality of women and children being turned away from transition houses due to lack of space is dangerous, is putting lives at risk, and is a matter of shame for a province which has a vision for a ‘Violence Free BC’.
The Working Group has until the end of November to secure operational funding or the federal funding will be lost. We urge you to take immediate action and provide the requested and well-justified operational support for this proposed Transition House in Delta and invite you to contact us to discuss this further.
Dr. Joanne Baker, Executive Director
BC Society of Transition Houses
 2012 24 Hour Census Report. BC Society of Transition Houses. http://bcsth.ca/publications/2012-24-hour-census-report/
 Shelter Voices 2015. Canadian Network of Women Shelters and Transition Houses. http://endvaw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ShelterVoices-2016-WEB.pdf