Watch above: The opening of what will be Canada’s first long-term treatment centre for child sexual abuse victims has been delayed. Su-Ling Goh tells us why.
EDMONTON – It will be Canada’s first long-term treatment centre for kids who have been sexually abused – when it’s open.
Little Warriors’ ‘Be Brave Ranch’ was supposed to open its doors in June, but that date has now been pushed back to September.
“Doing a reno like this, still raising the money, getting all the program pieces in place… it’s a lot bigger than we thought,” said Little Warriors Founder, Glori Meldrum.
Little Warriors purchased the 120-acre property, about 40 minutes outside of Edmonton, in November for $2.9 million. Since then, the only money the charity has had to spend was on garbage bins, windows and roofing. All other materials have been donated by local companies.
“Toilets, sinks, faucets, kitchens – anything you can think of that you’d reno in a house – people have donated to us. So that really is amazing,” said Meldrum.
The problem is labour. Volunteers have been toiling to install flooring, paint walls and mow the lawn. But they need more skilled workers, especially electricians, plumbers, and carpenters.
One house where the parents or guardians of children will stay recently flooded. That has lead to problems with moisture and mold.
“We’re hoping that a company steps up, demos it and rebuilds us a house that’s safe.”
Little Warriors has raised $2.4 million to fund treatment for 100 children during the first year, and is hoping to raise more by selling naming rights to each room. The project received $50,000 in government funding a few years ago, but Meldrum is not counting on any more from the province. She says what keeps her volunteers going is seeing the stacks of donations from average Albertans who have rallied around the ranch.
“Albertans can do anything they want. Never ever think that it’s the government that does all that – it’s us. We have something in our heart that we want to do and we just get it done.”