Both incoming and outgoing mayors, along with Helping Hands staff, broke ground at the future site of Under One Roof on Nov. 5.
“This is really exciting,” said mayor-elect Karen Elliott.
“Probably one of the things I’m most proud of over the last council term was that this was a unanimous decision of council. It’s so important to take care of everyone in our community as we grow.”
For Mayor Patricia Heintzman, it was perhaps a fitting way to end her tenure, as it was the last thing on her to-do list, save for the odd administrative task. The new council is being sworn in on Nov. 6.
Under One Roof was one of the more high-profile projects that passed through municipal council under her term.
“There’s lots of little legacy pieces, but this is one I’m particularly proud of,” Heintzman said.
She noted that projects like this can be extremely divisive in some communities, so it was a testament to the accepting nature of Squamish that the project passed.
“Pretty proud of how accepting our community is too, that we know that this is the right thing to do,” Heintzman said.
Helping Hands staff, which spearheaded the project, expressed much excitement about the project.
“It just means that people are going to be safer, people are going to be housed, they’re going to be fed,” said Maureen Mackell, executive director of Helping Hands.
“And more than that, this is going to become a community hub where people also find purpose.”
Under One Roof promises to provide food, shelter and social services to the most vulnerable members of the Squamish.
The project is spearheaded by Squamish Helping Hands and has received support from the District of Squamish, BC Housing and a number of local organizations.