The Northern Society for Domestic Peace is hoping to raise some financial support through an online voting contest for a new proposed housing complex for young mothers.
Apart from the funds, they hope to at least introduce the community to their idea of the HerWay House which would provide a place for young women, mostly teens, to live as they receive support while they are pregnant.
Carol Seychuk, executive director for the Northern Society for Domestic Peace (NSDP) said they hope to eventually build a five-to-six unit facility, with one unit for an onsite support worker.
“If you’re living in poverty you don’t have any supports necessarily. And you have some challenges and barriers,” she said. “You’re always afraid you’re being judged…It’s really difficult.”
The proposed facility would help women with such things as teaching them proper nutrition and, if needed, how to deal with addiction issues.
NSDP board secretary Sheila Smith, who is also the head of the obstetrical department at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, said she has come across several patients who would have been good candidates for such a facility.
“I do have a couple of patients who have been great candidates for a place like this and it just hasn’t existed,” she said. “The idea would be that pregnant young woman, particularly teens, would be able to go in as a pregnant woman so she is there and supported during her pregnancy.”
Some women have not had the best role models and may lack the necessary skills in raising their own kids.
In the worst-case scenarios, these women may end up having their children taken away by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Seychuk said that they looked at similar models of facilities that are open in Ontario. Victoria also just recently opened its own facility of this nature.
Voting ends Wednesday so you still have a chance to cast your vote at the Aviva website. Go to avivacommunityfund.org and do a search for HerWay, and this project should come up. The HerWay House is up for a share of Aviva’s $1 million.
Smith said that if they did win the money they would hopefully soon purchase land and have the facility ready by next spring.