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Comox Valley house would offer support to recovering women

JACKIE WATSON INTRODUCES her proposed non-profit supportive housing facility that will provide transitional housing and life skills training for women. - Erin Haluschak
JACKIE WATSON INTRODUCES her proposed non-profit supportive housing facility that will provide transitional housing and life skills training for women.
— image credit: Erin Haluschak

From a former farm home to a family residence, the former Farquharson house is undergoing another transformation — to offer unique Vancouver Island services to women.
The house will be known as Double Waters, a non-profit supportive housing facility that will provide transitional housing and life skills training for women.
Jackie Watson, executive director of the organization, said the facility will offer assistance to women who have completed a rehabilitation program and are moving from dependent relationships into independent, self-sufficient lifestyles.
"This facility will house only women over 19 and we want to provide a safe environment that empowers them and propels them out into the community with a new and exciting future," explained Watson at the opening Friday.
She noted Double Waters is aimed to house up to eight women who have completed a recovery program and to help them transition into the community based on a seven-step module that includes vocational training, fitness, volunteering and independent living skills.
"There's nothing like this facility on the Island," added Watson. "I was always so excited for (the women) when I saw them on their graduation day and what I ran into over and over was that they were so scared ... they're ill-equipped to transition into a community successfully without relapsing."
Watson said it was a combination of having a large, empty house along with a need to help women through her volunteering which brought about the idea to open the facility.
"I bought (the house) in 2007 for me and my three kids and all of my kids moved out and I was left with this big house; one of the things that I started to do was volunteering at Stepping Stones (a recovery centre in the Comox Valley)," she noted.
"I believe the vision was put on my heart. I started that real scary process on my own and about a month ago I had three women volunteer their time to help me and encourage me and get out there with their own giftings to gather people around and get work done, so here we are."
Watson said the approximate duration of stay for women at Double Waters will be between six to 12 months, with women paying by a sliding fee scale for their stay.
In her business plan, Watson noted there is $39,710 worth of startup expenses for the facility, with $40,910 total funding required, which she hopes to acquire through fundraising and government resources.
Watson hopes to see the facility welcoming clients in February.
For more information on Double Waters, visit www.doublewaters.ca.
photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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