Central Alberta’s first transitional housing for abused women and their children will officially open its doors next week.
On Wednesday, two or three families will move into Julietta’s Place, a 10-unit housing project for clients of the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter and others escaping family violence.
Barb Barber, executive director of Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society, said she anticipates the residence will be full with 10 families by Christmas.
“It’s an opportunity for families to have a really nice home for Christmas,” said Barber on Thursday.
“It’s the only second-stage affordable housing (for families of domestic violence) in Central Alberta.”
Each family would have applied to move into Julietta’s Place, which will offer rents at 20 to 25 per cent below market levels. Families will have the chance to live at Julietta’s Place for up to 18 months.
Construction on the apartment-style building began about eight months ago. During that time, many people contributed towards the $1.5-million project, funded through Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs.
Not only did other community agencies step up to the plate, but so did the main contractor River City Developments and its subcontracted trades.
“They really worked hard to see the project come together,” said Barber.
“There was time donated, resources donated, so because of the generosity of these people, we were able to come within budget.”
The residence includes four three-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units. Each unit is partially furnished with items like kitchen tables and beds.
Julietta’s Place was named in memory of Julietta Sorensen, who died in April 2004, at age 96. Together with her husband Gordon, they ran what is now Prairie Bus Lines and were pioneers in the early delivery of a public transit system in Red Deer. Julietta was respected and well known for her kind and compassionate heart as she generously gave of herself to help others. Julietta’s Place is located on the Sorensen family home site.