A fundraiser worthy of support
Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 06:00 am
Talk about a fundraiser you can get your teeth into.
In March (page 18), Banff’s YWCA will look to extend its reach into the communty, and into Canmore, with its VINEart gala and auction at Silvertip.
The event will feature entertainment, a gourmet feast and an auction of one-of-a-kind items and experiences.
While these features are sure to please those who attend, they are, unfortunately, the type of features that women who must take advantage of the YWCA’s shelter are unlikely to enjoy.
While many view our valley as a little slice of heaven, statistics show that is often not the case when it comes to domestic abuse. As judges often point out in assault or abuse cases, nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors.
We assume when a woman or mother with children from Banff or Canmore approaches the YWCA in seeking asylum in its shelter, their situation is about as bad as it can get. To walk away from a relationship, possibly with children in tow because there is nowhere else to turn, is obviously cause for alarm.
Often, victims of domestic abuse have no local support network and possibly no family close at hand, so when a woman feels she’s at the end of her means and must seek help – help must be in place.
And that’s where the Y comes in. The Y has provided the exact kind of support and shelter an abused woman needs. Unfortunately, once a woman’s stay at the shelter ends, she sometimes has no recourse but to return to her situation; and this is where the Y’s raising funds for transition housing would come into play.
With transition housing, a spell of respite could be lengthened to allow for more recovery from a bad situation – rather than be forced to leave the community. In looking to locate transition housing in Canmore, the YWCA’s reach would be even more evident, valley-wide.
Here at the Outlook, we feel this will be a fundraiser worthy of full support of the community, much like Fairmont and Silvertip have stepped up from an industry perspective.
Made in the valley housing?
Having witnessed the backlash against a housing project in Canmore’s Peaks of Grassi on Tuesday (Jan. 13), which followed a backlash against development of housing on the former daycare site in Canmore, which followed a backlash against a Caribou Properties proposal to develop staff housing in Banff, it’s becoming clear that the only way to ensure affordable housing is actually created in our two municipalities is if the municipalities themselves take a hand in it.
While we’d rather not see municipal governments in the housing business, how else will the issue of affordable housing ever be fully addressed? Can developers be coaxed into building housing that returns less than maximum profit? Not likely.
It’s certainly an idea to be explored in the future. While some arguments for housing in Peaks related to the need for more affordable housing in Canmore, we believe most people aren’t seeing that housing fall into the $600,000+ range.
So what’s to be done? Possibly, our towns will have to take it upon themselves to see that lands they hold title to, or can get title to, are used to build housing to affordable standards. Say, row housing sans garages, granite countertops, high end fixtures and finishes and with reduced lofty architectural guidelines.
We’re picturing individually owned row housing where owners can do it themselves and aren’t subject to the high condo fees so many face to have their walks shovelled and grounds maintained.