Ishtar caps difficult year with celebration

Ishtar has been helping Langley residents for decades.

Oct. 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of the Ishtar Transition Housing Society, the group that runs two local shelters for women and children escaping violence, and other programs.

The public is invited to celebrate the milestone with hot dogs and cake on Oct. 22 (today) from noon to 1:30 p.m. as a way for Ishtar to thank the community.

Langley was home to the first transition house in the province, and has a refuge in Aldergrove and another in Langley.

It’s been a tumultuous year.

Shortly following the last AGM in September 2014, a majority of the board of directors resolved to give the transition house contracts back to the funder, BC Housing, and close both houses. They issued lay-off notices to staff. Due to outcry the same board members resigned just days after, along with the firm that was contracted to manage Ishtar operations.

The four remaining board members rescinded the layoffs and assured BC Housing that it would continue operations.

By March 2015, the board partnered with a sister organization in Surrey, Atira Women’s Resource Society, to keep the organization running.

Ishtar’s offerings include counselling, victim’s services, community based victim’s services, women’s counselling, community outreach and the Children Who Witness Abuse programs.

The society will elect a board on Nov. 30, and members of the community can put their names forward.

“There are so many places, reasons and ways to volunteer,” said Shabina Jahan-Chaudhary, Ishtar’s current chairperson.

To learn more about the society, attend the birthday celebration or call 604-534-1011.


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