Little’s Place, which opened in May of this year, was at capacity shortly after opening. Little’s Place is a women’s housing facility. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

North Surrey women’s housing facility ‘almost immediately’ at capacity

Little’s Place opened in May following a six-month renovation

Despite Little’s Place only opening in May, Atira Women’s Resource Society says they’re turning away women almost daily.

Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira, said the organization is “thrilled” to be able to offer 22 units of housing, but “a lot more is needed.”

Little’s Place, which opened in May, provides 22 housing units for women, Abbott said.

“There’s still a lot of women that we’re turning away because we don’t have any more room for there.”

Abbott said 91 women requested for space in October when the building was already 100 per cent full. By mid-November, Abbott said 40 women had already put in a request for spaces.

She said the facility was “almost immediately” at capacity.

The women at Little’s Place, Abbott said, will be staying for “roughly a year,” but the women won’t be asked to leave if they don’t have anywhere else to go.

Little’s Place is located on King George Boulevard in a converted motel.

RELATED: Surrey motel being transformed into sanctuary to help heal vulnerable women

Abbott said when Little’s Place first opened, there was some hesitation from women.

A lot of the women who moved in had horrific experiences in that hotel, and I think there was a little bit of reluctance,” said Abbott, adding women were “triggered by their experiences” there.

Abbott said there were stories of violent sexual assaults at the former motel which is the reason why Atira wanted to convert the former hotel.

“When we first went into the building, there were a number of rooms where women had written their stories of rape on the walls.”

Since then, Abbott said there was about a six-month renovation period. The work included removing mould and graffiti and adding new flooring.

Abbott said that over time, Atira is hearing from women about how different Little’s Place is from when it was the motel.

“In addition to this kind of reluctance based on past experience, there was also this kind of relief and shock at how different it was.”

Little’s Place was named after Santanna Scott-Huntinghawk after she died after overdosing in a tent in November of 2016. Scott-Huntinghawk’s nickname was “Little” because of her short and petite stature.

“We were clearly wanting to rename the building and, to be honest with you, it was nothing more than a synapse that snapped in my brain,” Abbott previously told the Now-Leader of the decision to honour Santanna.

Having just turned 19, Scott-Huntinghawk had recently aged out of the B.C. foster-care system, and her story garnered much media attention. She was one of 122 people who died of drug overdose in Surrey in 2016.

— with files from Amy Reid

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read