Safe house for women set to reopen
A safe house for women that closed in 2014 is set to re-open next month.
House of Hope, which is run by local organization H.O.P.E Outreach, provides a supportive housing environment for women who have been abused, exploited, or are battling drug addiction.
President, Angie Lohr says although she always intended to re-open the house, the recent fatal overdose of Chelsea Christianson, a 17-year-old Kelowna girl, drove her to open it sooner.
“We’ve come quite close with her and the volunteers have kinda fallen in love with her in the last year that we’ve seen her downtown, so it’s really hit us really hard”
Christianson died in a mall bathroom after taking what she thought was heroin.
“I just thought, I just can’t sit and watch this too much anymore without doing something as much as I can,” Lohr says “so I’m gonna take this project back on”.
Lohr says she’s applied for funding grants because there isn't enough money to keep the house open past this year.
The house, located in Rutland, was originally established in 2010 and has beds for 5 women on a month-to-month basis.
Lohr says over the 5 years it was open, 250 women stayed the house, many of whom have gotten off drugs.