“We’re going to work hard to get it back to where it was.” — Kristein Johnson Photo: John Boivin

Funding squeeze forces Castlegar women’s centre to cut hours

Chrissy’s Place will now only open on Wednesdays

Castlegar’s women’s centre is cutting its hours of operation down to one day a week.

Chrissy’s Place, which opened in 2017 offering women programs of support, will only be open on Wednesdays, starting April 17.

“It’s sad for sure,” says Kristein Johnson, the executive director of the Castlegar and District Community Services Society, which operates Chrissy’s Place. “But it also makes us a little more motivated to get it back to where it was.”

Johnson says she applied for funding from many sources, but was only able to secure $20,000 of the centre’s $70,000 annual budget.

“If I’m missing something, let me know,” she told Castlegar News. “We certainly tried. A lot of the funders are way over-subscribed in applications.”

The funding loss means the centre will go from three days a week (Tuesdays-Thursdays) to only opening on Wednesdays.

Chrissy’s Place was named after Chrissy Archibald, a Castlegar woman who died in a terrorist attack in London in June 2017.

SEE: Castlegar women’s centre dedicated to Chrissy

Chrissy’s Place offered a variety of programs for women, on everything from building healthy relationships, budgeting, gardening, to a book club and cooking classes.

“On that one day we’ll still put in a substantial amount of programming, what we can, what women have told us they really wanted,” says Johnson. “And we will open from time to time on different days for special programs.”

Three staff people worked at Chrissy’s Place, and Johnson says two workers will be moved to some of the other programs offered by the society. The centre will also use volunteers to run some programming.

She says that will mean a lot for the 15 to 20 women who came to the centre’s programming during the week.

Johnson says she’ll continue to work with various agencies to try to attract more secure funding for Chrissy’s Place. But she says women will still be served by her agency.

“I think people should keep in mind that we operate 20 programs,” she said. “That doesn’t make Chrissy’s Place less important. It is a huge impact.

“But we offer more than 20 programs serving women, and the women’s centre really complemented those programs.

“We’re going to work hard to get it back to where it was.”


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