Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS) was founded in 1987 by a group of caring community members concerned that women in abusive relationships had nowhere to go. Until 1992, it operated as a safe home network, where local families voluntarily took women, and their children, escaping violence into their own homes.
From these modest beginnings, CVTS’ services have grown to include Lilli House, which offers safe shelter and counselling for women and their children fleeing violence, as well as supportive groups for men, girls, and grandparents raising grandchildren.
They also deliver homelessness prevention programs, community awareness and education events; sexual assault response coordination; emergency services for Comox Valley residents who are unhoused; and administration for RCMP Victim Services.
Years ago, CVTS saw the need for withdrawal and supportive recovery programs for women in the Comox Valley dealing with addiction. They began providing limited recovery services within Lilli House, but the arrangement wasn’t ideal.
In 2015, they were able to lease the perfect building and opened a 12-bed social detox and supportive recovery home. Last year 86 women came through the facility, called Amethyst House.
One of the frequent challenges for women coming through recovery programs is having nowhere to go at the end of the program. If returning home means proximity to a social circle of people who are still active in their own addictions, it’s not a good situation.
In response to this challenge, CVTS created seven studio apartments within Amethyst House where women who have completed their recovery program can live for a couple of years while they get their feet under them. Following on the success of these affordable rental suites, CVTS continued to develop housing. Today the organization operates 125 units of affordable housing, with 68 more under development.
Maya (her name has been changed to protect her identity) had lost custody of her child due to her addiction. It wasn’t easy, but she successfully completed the program at Amethyst House and then moved into one of their studio apartments. While she was living there, with the support of CVTS staff, she was able to have her child returned to her care. She and her child then moved on to CVTS’ permanent affordable housing. Today Maya is in a healthy relationship. She and her child are living with her new partner in a house they built themselves.
Not every story turns out as well as Maya’s, but that is the kind of difference Amethyst House and CVTS’ affordable housing can make in the life of a woman and her family.
CVTS has been approved for a mortgage to purchase the building, which will provide Amethyst House’s funders with confidence that it will be here for the long haul. And more importantly, it will provide the women of the Comox Valley with the security of knowing CVTS’ services will be there when they are needed.
Contributions towards the down payment are deeply appreciated. They will reduce borrowing and interest costs, thus freeing up more funds to go into the program.
THIS PROFILE AND THE GREAT WORK OF OUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS ARE SPONSORED BY THE GOVERNANCE GROUP.