VANCOUVER ISLAND — Huu-ay-aht First Nations has announced a partnership with B.C. to build a new housing, support and child-care centre on Vancouver Island.
The centre, titled the Oomiiqsu, which translates to Aboriginal Mother, will be funded in part with $10 million from BC Housing, with the Ministry of Education and Child Care providing $800,000 for child care spaces.
The province has committed $5 million to cover initial operating costs. BC Housing will contribute $88,000 per year for annual operating costs.
The two-storey transition housing building will be owned and operated by the Huu-ay-aht government’s Child and Family Wellness Department. It will feature homes for as many as 48 mothers and children fleeing violence or facing other trauma and feature a myriad of support systems.
“Oomiiqsu is going to be a place to bring children home, where mothers and children will feel safe, healthy and connected, and they will be able to look back and tell many wonderful stories,” said Edward Johnson, councillor for Huu-ay-aht in a release.