VANCOUVER, Nov. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ishtar Transition Housing Society of Langley has announced plans to close two transition houses effective January 31, 2015.
The closure will impact the Langley-based, 12-bed Ishtar House, one of the oldest in North America, and the Aldergrove-based, 10-bed Libra House. The houses provide much needed services for women and children fleeing domestic violence situations.
In the last month, 93 percent of spaces were filled in these facilities.
The closures will mean the layoff of 32 BCGEU members.
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 1000 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 BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "We're calling on the B.C. Government to guarantee the Ishtar Transition Housing Society keeps these transition houses open."
The society is funded by the Government of B.C. and community donations.
There were 18 domestic violence deaths in B.C. between January and September of 2014.
SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
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Media can contact Karen Tankard at [email protected] or 604-312-1204.