We are pleased to announce the expansion and renovation of Powell Place is complete! The newly redesigned shelter opened in March 2015. Along with our enhanced staffing and program model, the new facility enhances low-barrier and trauma-informed services for women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Powell Place provides emergency shelter for women in crisis while supporting them to foster their independence, enhance their skills, and find and remain in permanent housing. In addition to doubling its occupancy from 26 beds to 52, the new facility allows for integrated community services on site, offering accessible and individualized supports for women in crisis.
In addition to funding from all three levels of government, a Capital Campaign led by Cindy Beedie raised over $1.2 million for the new shelter.
“It has been an honour to be involved in this project and I want to thank all of the donors and funders that made the transformation of Powell Place possible,” said Cindy. “Our collective investment in women-centered services is already making a difference. I can only imagine the additional impact we will see, now that women have access to such an incredible facility and the enhanced staffing and program model The Bloom Group has developed.”
Donors to the Powell Place Capital Campaign toured the new shelter at a event on Thursday March 26, while our government partners officially opened the new shelter on Friday March 27. At both events audiences were moved by words of the women who have led the project for the past several years, who spoke about what the new building will mean for the women we serve.
“The women who come to Powell Place for services are strong and resilient,” said Trudi Shymka, Director of Women’s Services. “They have faced many challenges. They have experienced trauma, assaults, illness, poverty and often have been bypassed by opportunity. But this describes the challenges they have faced, not who they are.”
“The women who come to Powell Place are daughters, mothers, sisters, with dreams and ambitions,” added Shymka. “This building is full of possibility and potential, just like the women who come here to seek support.”
The new building includes a classroom, counselling rooms and 1-on-1 support spaces. Other features include a commercial-grade kitchen, a residents’ kitchen and a medical assessment room. A project to revitalize the shelter’s courtyard garden is underway and will provide healing green space once completed in summer 2015.
“The opening of our newly expanded shelter represents an important moment in the evolution of low-barrier services for women in the Downtown Eastside, ” said Marleen Morris, former president of The Bloom Group Board of Directors. “Powell Place provides a supportive stepping stone for women as they seek out and prepare for living in stable, permanent homes. The beautiful features of the new building embody our strengths-based approach; one that honours the dignity and self-determination of the women we serve.”
Located at 329 Powell Street, Powell Place Women’s Shelter is managed and operated by The Bloom Group. The expansion and renovation of Powell Place furthers The Bloom Group’s vision for a continuum of housing and supports for women in our community. The Bloom Group has supported women in the Downtown Eastside for almost 40 years. Powell Place was the first women-only shelter in the Downtown Eastside, opened in 1977.
Thank you to the sponsors of our opening event celebrations!