The Tamara Foundation has had a long relationship with the Union Gospel Mission. In fact, one of the board members of the Tamara Foundation sat on the board for UGM for ten years. He also chaired the UGM Building Committee for five years, which was responsible for the creation of a men’s residential alcohol and drug recovery centre.
UGM has a solid reputation with the City of Vancouver and British Columbia Housing, in helping men recover from addiction. A few years ago, UGM desired to start expanding their services to women and families.
So often, women impacted by substance abuse hesitate to reach out for help due to the fear of having their children apprehended by child protection services. Providing compassionate support is at the forefront of UGM’s work. To create a safe space where women can receive the care they need, UGM founded the Sanctuary.
“The Sanctuary provides a temporary home for women who want to work towards recovery, but who aren’t quite sure how to navigate that path just yet. During their stay, women struggling with addiction receive support as they consider a recovery- centred life. Providing compassionate one-on-one counselling, UGM is able to tailor each woman’s stabilization journey to her unique needs.” –Union Gospel Mission
The Sanctuary started as a pilot project in 2012 as a transitional housing program. It provided 24/7 supervision for up to twenty-one women, including six women and their infants. The Tamara Foundation donated towards the pilot project. In March of 2018 the Tamara Foundation pledged $300,000 towards the UGM capital campaign to turn the Sanctuary into a complete residential alcohol and drug program.
The Tamara Foundation’s deep care for women and children cannot be overstated. They were a key catalyst in UGM being able to start a program called The Sanctuary. This program provides women and mothers with babies the opportunity to begin a journey towards freedom from addiction, poverty and homelessness. As UGM embraces the women we serve through support, care and encouragement, the Tamara Foundation continues to equip us as an organization with the resources to do so. What a tremendous gift!”
Ryan Koch – Director, Resource Development
The new Sanctuary centre is going to bring renewed hope to women and families in the community. The 77,000 square ft. facility will be located on Cordova Street and feature seven stories, each designated to better serve the community. The facility will provide temporary housing and offer recovery programs, child care, after-school programs, youth development programs, counselling, and life skills and career development programs.
Below are a few mock-ups of what the facility will look like.