Spirit Way is a 14-unit second-stage residential program that opened June 21, 2000 (on National Aboriginal Day). Spirit Way offers holistic healing with 18-month accommodation for women and children, who have suffered domestic violence, and have already experienced the initial stage of intervention. Spirit Way is operated by Helping Spirit Lodge Society with partnership through BC Housing.
SPIRIT WAY’S goal is to help Indigenous women become independent by providing them with the opportunity to make their own choices, arrange for their own needs, access community services and become involved in their community.
We believe that family violence is a learned behaviour, and that it can be unlearned and replaced with healthy non-violent behaviours. We begin this process by providing a sanctuary for victims in an alcohol and drug free environment. Women must have a safe and nurturing place to recover from the loss of self-esteem and direction. Ultimately, Helping Spirit Lodge Society seeks to regain the traditional, respected position of women in our communities.
We provide supportive programming for 14 families on a month-to-month basis for a period of eighteen months. Programs and services are offered to assist the women residents in gaining the skills, information and confidence they need to take control of their own future, and support their children in a healthy caring environment.
In November, 1996, Helping Spirit Lodge Society received a Conditional allocation from the British Columbia Housing Management Commission November 7, 1996 under Homeless At Risk Component of HOMES BC for a 14 unit Project.
On June 21, 2000, HSLS celebrated a West Coast traditional groundbreaking ceremony for the Indigenous woman’s 14-unit second-stage project. It was named SPIRIT WAY to reflect the courageous journey the participants would be undertaking to stop their cycle of violence and begin a resurgence of wellness.
On April 30, 2001, SPIRIT WAY house was traditionally blessed by Elder Bob George from the Burrard First Nations people.
On June 21, 2001 SPIRIT WAY Officially opened its doors. Elder Theresa Jeffries from Seschelt Village offered prayers and song for this special occasion.
SPIRIT WAY has 14 fully furnished units: