Chilliwack’s Ann Davis Transition Society opens specialized Women’s Centre

The new 10-bed centre will help ADTS deal with its more than 1,300 annual crisis calls

Welcome to the Ann Davis Transition Society’s (ADTS) new Women’s Centre.

And while the road to get here has been long, and not without its challenges, those behind Chilliwack’s newest transition house say it’s all been worth it.

“This house is really going to help those who need help,” said Patti MacAhonic, executive director of ADTS.

“Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of women and children who need our support,” she continued. “Forty per cent of the city’s homeless are female: we have the highest ratio of displaced women in the province … and women are hidden homeless.”

Tucked inside a quiet residential neighbourhood “with great neighbours,” MacAhonic said everyone who stays at the ADTS’s new house will be surrounded by the services they need to overcome their individual challenges. “We’re all so different and (the women we help) is such a diverse group.”

RELATED: New 10-bed women’s centre to open in Chilliwack this fall

Created as a specialized transition house for single women, MacAhonic says the Centre will offer both emergency and transitional services, legal assistance, personal growth opportunities, and family reunification and counselling.

“We receive more than 1,300 crisis calls each year,” she continued. And right now ADTS staff are also dealing with an increase in the number of women attempting to navigate “the rental crisis in our province,” or who are fleeing human trafficking in the area.

“Women come to us broken from the abuse they’ve endured,” added ADTS president, Rhona Dyck. “Healing from abuse takes time, support and rebuilding of trust and healthy relationships.”

Which is where the ADTS comes in.

For nearly 40 years now, the Ann Davis Transition Society has been working with the community to help women and mothers with children who are in need. First came the safe house for those fleeing violence, and from there, the ADTS has grown into one of the region’s leading, full-spectrum counselling services for women, children, youth, men, couples and families at risk of abuse or violence. They also have a thrift store and a satellite office in Hope.

And now they have the Women’s Centre.

With room for 10 beds, the nine-bedroom, three-floor house also has a covered deck, a large backyard with a gazebo, a kitchen, three full bathrooms, laundry facilities, storage, and separate space for employees, who will work in shifts to provide around the clock staffing.

And the opening of the Centre couldn’t come a moment too soon: the temporary winter shelter the ADTS operated this year closes its doors when the Women’s Centre opens its. However, during the temporary shelter’s short tenure, MacAhonic says they were able to help 135 women in need. Women like Jay Todd.

READ MORE: Shelter idea for Chilliwack gets rough ride in central location

“I never thought I would be in the position to need something like this,” said Todd as she recalled her life from five years earlier at the Women Centre’s opening.

“But they told me, ‘We’ve got a place for you,’ and they made me feel welcome and safe and loved.”

“Our services are broad, we see over 7,000 persons per year and we do it with very little (resources at our disposal),” MacAhonic said.

However, “we realize this is a collective effort (that) requires the cooperation and the sensitivity of every single community member,” which is why the ADTS was pleased to work in tangent with BC Housing and various community partners to secure the project’s funding.

“Our many supporters have made a real difference in helping to make this happen, and for that we are extremely thankful,” said MacAhonic.

“We’re all sisters—we work together and that’s how we make change. We don’t judge, we just step up and do what’s needed.”

For more information about the Ann Davis Transition Society and their services, please visit their website, AnnDavis.org, or call 604-792-2760.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sunday Highway 1 search for Shawnee Inyallie yields no results

Searchers came from Hope, Chilliwack and as far away as Port Coquitlam

Wide variety of art for sale at Art from the Heart show

Student art show runs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Laidlaw racer nets first place in B.C. among A-Class mud racers

Cody Leach has poured his energy and his hard-earned dollars into the sport he loves

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

A look inside Hope’s 20-bed emergency shelter, just over a month since it opened

Manager Sharon Holburn and Gerry Dyble, executive director of HATS, answer questions about the shelter and homelessness in Hope

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read