Women’s Shelter will open, thanks to Northern Sunrise County

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

On Feb. 13, Northern Sunrise County approved a lending bylaw to allow for a temporary loan to the Peace River Regional Women’s Shelter Society.

The bylaw was first discussed at a regular council meeting Jan. 9, and a motion subsequently passed to lend a total of $130,000 to the shelter for emergency renovations required.

“Council understood the urgency to get the repairs completed and the women’s shelter open again,” says Reeve Corinna Williams.

“We have a lending bylaw to have the funds paid back by Sept. 1, 2025,” she adds.

There was discovery late last year of black mould in the shelter, prompting its closure to ensure healthy safety of residents in the facility. The shelter helps displaced women and children who are escaping violence – a resource that Williams and her council feel is crucial for the region.

“This is a vital resource for the community and a regional benefit for all that require the assistance of the shelter,” says Williams.

“Knowing how many were turned away during the closure, with no ability to follow-up with them to ensure that they were able to find alternate assistance was a concern for council.”

Within the first two weeks of closure in November, upwards of 13 adults and 11 children had to be turned away.

“As per sections 264 and 265 of the Municipal Government Act, a municipality may loan funds to a not-
for-profit organization,” says Williams.

“Council felt this was the best way to assist the shelter in getting their repairs completed and recognize that the funding shelters receive is limited and often not enough for their operations. Council felt that the interest did not need to be collected in this instance.”

Repairs at the shelter have now been completed and the facility is again able to assist families. Money loaned to the Peace River Regional Women’s Shelter Society was taken from the General Operations Account and will be returned to the same account once repaid.

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