Abbotsford women’s centre prepares for eviction due to farm rules

Hanna Lalonde / October 30th, 2019

This is the Abbotsford Women’s Centre. It houses up to 10 women at a time.
(Angie Appenheimer)

The Abbotsford Women’s Centre has been given an eviction notice. The Agricultural Land Committee says the addiction recovery centre’s current location fails to meet the agricultural land regulations. Angie Appenheimer, a regional director for the centre, says the big picture isn’t being looked at. 

“There is economic value to farming, obviously, but in the recovery of people’s lives there is huge economic value.” – Angie Appenheimer, Regional Director at the Abbotsford Women’s Centre

The Agricultural Land Commission details why they’re terminating the centre’s use of this land; here is their response to the Non-Farm Use Application submitted by the Women’s Centre. 

“While the Panel understands that Adult & Teen Challenge Society of BC desires to use the existing buildings on the Property as a ‘quiet, stable location for women in recovery’, the Panel considered that the priority use of land within the ALR is for agriculture.” – The Agricultural Land Committee

Appenheimer made an appeal to the Agricultural Land Commision, but it was ultimately denied. She says they are actively searching for a new home for the program and haven’t found one yet. Appenheimer says they now face new hurdles associated with relocating.  

“Before we were asked to leave, we didn’t have the financial challenge associated with having to find a new location.” – Angie Appenheimer, Regional Director at the Abbotsford Women’s Centre

The residency-based program uses holistic and faith-based healing methods. Angie refers to the centre’s residents as students and calls the process transformative. 

Addiction is all-encompassing.

(FreeImages.com)

 “We are transforming women so they can be productive moms, wives, and daughters, and maybe one day productive business women that contribute back to the community.” – Angie Appenheimer, Regional Director at the Abbotsford Women’s Centre

The addiction recovery centre has approximately one and a half years to relocate.