Sunday, July 21, 2024

Central Saanich orders Woodwynn Farms to close doors

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Residents at the Woodwynn Farms rehabilitation facility woke up on December 13th to see “No Occupancy” signs posted on their doors.

Central Saanich cites electrical issues as one of the reasons for not approving the location of the organization.

Located 25 miles from downtowns Victoria, the 78-hectare Woodwynn Farms is an organic farm that prepares homeless people for life off of the streets.

It currently houses six residents and offers a variety of work and educational programs to  promote a farming-based lifestyle and community.

The farm community fights back

Now, Richard Leblanc, Executive Director of the Creating Homefulness Society that operates the farm, is fighting back against the “No Occupancy” notice.

“I will not allow our participants to be put out on the streets” he said in a statement on the Woodwynn Farms website. The farm’s owners are letting residents stay on the farm, regardless of orders from Central Saanich.

Woodwynn resident Kylie Janzen said “I’m absolutely devastated…I can’t go back to the streets. I’m not ready. I’ve worked really hard to get back to having a life with my daughter.”

A peaceful resolution

Since Woodwynn Farms’ opening, Central Saanich has previously attempted to evict people. In 2012, they ordered several campers on the property to leave.

However that situation was resolved and Woodwynn Farms has shown its dedication to keeping people on the property despite issues with the municipalities’ bylaws.

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