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Second-stage housing for women and children will be opened in Langley, society says

Ishtar executive director ‘100 per cent confident’ long-sought project will be announced this year
In a Jan. 23 interview, Ishtar executive director Maureen Berlin, told the Langley Advance Times she is ‘100 per cent confident’ there will soon be an announcement about much-needed second-stage housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A long campaign by Ishtar Women’s Resource Society for much-needed second-stage housing for women and children in the Langley area is close to success, with an announcement expected in the near future, according to Maureen Berlin, the group’s executive director.

While she could not provide details, Berlin said she was “100 per cent confident” the long-sought housing will become a reality later this year.

“It’s good news,” Berlin told the Langley Advance Times in a Monday, Jan. 23 interview.

“There’s no doubt it’s Langley’s turn”

Ishtar, with the support of both Langley City and Township councils, as well several local non-profit groups, has been pressing the provincial government to establish second-stage housing, which provides longer-term accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Because Langley is the only community of its size in the region that doesn’t have second-stage housing, Ishtar has to try and place women and children in second-stage housing in other communities.

“The whole focus is, ‘where on earth will they go next?’” Berlin summarized.

“We have to rely on all our neighbouring communities.”

READ ALSO: Ishtar seeks Langley Township help to secure more housing

Second-stage housing would provide affordable apartments or townhouses where women and children could live for up to 18 months with support from counsellors and other Ishtar staff.

During a presentation to Township council last June, a staffer from Ishtar noted that the society has had to turn away hundreds of women and children because they didn’t have the space for them in their transitional housing.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s time to say it’s our turn’ – new director at Langley’s Ishtar Housing Society

There are currently two shelters in the Langley area that are meant to house women and children for about 30 days, one with 10 beds, one with 12.

They can reached 24/7 at 604-530-9442 (Ishtar Transition House) or 604-857-5797 (Libra Transition House).

READ ALSO: More facilities for women in need as Ishtar gets a new office space

Last September, Ishtar opened a new outreach facility at 103-20457 Fraser Hwy. with washroom and shower space clothes, snacks, and access to community-based victim services programs, an outreach program for women and children looking for housing and legal support, a domestic violence liaison program, and support for women at risk of or experiencing violence.

READ MORE: Peace tree takes root in Ishtar

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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