Richard Leblanc, executive director of the Creating Homefulness Society, stands in front of the East Barn. (Alisa Howlett/News Staff file photo)

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down.

According to a statement from the Creating Homefulness Society’s board of directors, key unnamed philanthropists have decided to sell the property after the Agricultural Land Commission denied a proposal to build 40 units of temporary housing for patients.

The statement also says that the four remaining farm residents are to be transitioned into safe and stable housing.

“After nearly a decade of commitment by staff, volunteers, community members, philanthropists, neighbours and residents, it is a sad day for us all,” the statement reads. “The program in its current state is unable to provide a meaningful contribution to the overwhelming need for improved solutions for those most at risk. The decision by the ALC fundamentally prevents the Creating Homefulness Society from making a significant contribution to the fight against homelessness and addiction”.

In an interview, board member Teri DuTemple said the philanthropists originally bought the property in 2008 and the Creating Homefulness Society was supposed to pay them back over time, but they have had too few clients to do so because the ALC has not allowed them to build the necessary housing. She said she did not have permission to disclose the names of the philanthropists.

DuTemple said that the plan was for some board members to visit the farm in the next 72 hours and discuss next steps with the Society’s director, Richard Leblanc and the staff about next steps. The board only received foreclosure documents on Wednesday night.

“We really need to start winding the program and get the farm ready to sell.”

When asked if the Society would consider purchasing land outside the ALR, DuTemple said that “anything’s possible,” but it would depend on the final purchase price of the 193-acre property.

“If the Society still has money, then we’ll definitely look at what to do next. Is it another project, or do we support an existing project? But that [extra] money would stay with the non-profit.”

DuTemple said “it’s really heartbreaking to come to this realization. We had hoped for all these years to make this successful, to help homeless, and we weren’t able to.”

In response to the news, the District of Central Saanich released a statement, saying that the district and council “remain supportive of rehabilitation facilities provided they are zoned appropriately and meet building codes. The District and Council have the utmost respect for the participants at Woodwynn Farm and the society’s goal of providing more addiction rehabilitation options.”

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with a statement from the District of Central Saanich



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

13-year-old Langford boy missing

West Shore RCMP say Alex Meickle was likely headed to Tofino

Greater Victoria-based digital crisis line sees spike in chats

Service allows youth to chat with volunteers through instant messaging services, text message

Rollover crash in Colwood occurred after driver had epileptic seizure

Colwood Fire used the Jaws of Life to extricate two people inside the vehicle

Reader photos: Greater Victoria’s hazy skies

Lingering smoke from wildfires contributed to the province issuing a smoky skies bulletin

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said day to recognize painful legacy would boost understanding

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

B.C. gangster charged after man allegedly beaten with a golf club

Langley man facing aggravated assault charge after incident allegedly involved golf club and machete

442 Squadron medevacs injured fisherman at Graham Island

442 Squadron medevacs injured fisherman at Graham Island

Are you Canada’s next Masterchef?

Home cooks looking to follow their cuisine dreams can apply now.

Regional climate adaptation agriculture testing to expand in B.C.

Ottawa funds farm projects to conserve water, remove invasive species

Most Read