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Abbotsford unveils new modular housing unit for vulnerable women

Surrey-Guildford MLA Gary Begg, Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas, Elizabeth Fry Society executive director Shawn Bayes and Abbotsford city councillor Brenda Falk announce the opening of the Legacy Manor modular housing facility for vulnerable women in Abbotsford on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
Surrey-Guildford MLA Gary Begg, Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas, Elizabeth Fry Society executive director Shawn Bayes and Abbotsford city councillor Brenda Falk announce the opening of the Legacy Manor modular housing facility for vulnerable women in Abbotsford on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Elizabeth Fry Society/Twitter

A new modular housing project targeted at helping vulnerable women affected by homelessness in Abbotsford is now getting ready to welcome its first residents.

The 37-unit facility, operated by the Elizabeth Fry Society, will provide around-the-clock supports along with meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services.

The building, dubbed Legacy Manor, was funded in part by the B.C. government, which invested $7.1 million in capital and construction costs.

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The province will also provide roughly $1 million annually in operating costs.

“These homes will give women a warm, safe place to sleep in, in comfort and safety, have privacy, and most importantly have hope,” Surrey-Guildford MLA Garry Begg said at an announcement Thursday on behalf of Minister of Housing Selina Robinson.

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“This project means that women in need will have the homes and supports they need and can reconnect with their goals and have a chance for a better life.”

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun thanked the province for its support and funding for the city’s two modular housing projects, including Legacy Manor.

“Our community has taken a housing first approach to address homelessness and additional capacity for modular housing will serve to support the most vulnerable individuals in our community,” Braun said in a statement.

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The building, located in the 31000-block of Livingstone Avenue, will start accepting tenants later in June, the province said in a release.

Each unit will contain a private washroom and mini kitchen, while one of the units will be wheelchair accessible. A restaurant that once operated on the site has been renovated into a central amenity building with a commercial kitchen and dining space.

The facility is adjacent to the Elizabeth Fry Society’s Firth Residence, which provides transitional housing and support services, including detox, stabilization and structured relapse prevention for women.

The society’s executive director Shawn Bayes said the project will help provide care to over 60 women in the community.

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“This critically needed supportive housing will help transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable women in Abbotsford,” Bayes said in a statement.

“Safe housing and case management support together will unlock the door to a brighter future for the women who live here.”

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