BCGEU demands government action against closure of transitional housing for women and children in the Fraser Valley | National Union of Public and General Employees

BCGEU demands government action against closure of transitional housing for women and children in the Fraser Valley

“We’re calling on the B.C. government to guarantee the Ishtar Transition Housing Society keeps these transition houses open.” —  Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.

Vancouver (28 Nov. 2014) — The Ishtar Transition Housing Society of Langley has announced plans to close two transition houses, effective January 31, 2015. 

Closing supportive housing and shutting down telephone crisis lines will put women and children fleeing domestic violence at risk

The closure will impact the 12-bed Ishtar House, in Langley, one of the oldest in North America, and the 10-bed Libra House, in Aldergrove. The houses provide much-needed services for women and children fleeing domestic violence situations. 

In the last month, 93 per cent of spaces were filled in these facilities.

Additionally, telephone crisis lines operated at each of the facilities will also be shut down. These lines are open 24/7 and handle between 600 and 1,000 phone calls per month. They provide support for women before they enter transition housing and after they leave.

“The closure of these facilities and the important services they provide mean women and children in the geographic area between Surrey and Abbotsford will no longer have access to transitional housing,” said Stephanie Smith, President of the B.C. Government and General Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE). “We’re calling on the B.C. government to guarantee the Ishtar Transition Housing Society keeps these transition houses open.”

The closures will mean the layoff of 32 BCGEU/NUPGE members.

The society is funded by the Government of B.C. and community donations.

There were 18 deaths due to domestic violence B.C. between January and September of 2014.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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