If you’re interested in getting a sneak peek of a ‘home away from home’ project in Campbell River, this is the virtual Town Hall for you.

Q̓ʷalayu House will largely support expectant mothers and families, by giving them a place to stay while they, or their children, receive care at the adjacent North Island Hospital or from local health care providers.

The Zoom meeting runs from 1:00pm to 2:00pm tomorrow.

You can register to take part here

With a completion date set for 2021, the development was inspired by the success of Jeneece Place.

The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island owns and operates Jeneece Place on the Victoria General Hospital site, and is for families with kids who are in the hospital.

Foundation CEO, Veronica Carroll, said people in Campbell River wanted to see something similar in their community. 

“A number of years ago, folks in Campbell River said, ‘look, we have a real need for families that are travelling long distances to get care at the hospital or from clinicians in town. Would you guys consider building something similar in Campbell River, to host families who are travelling sometimes really long distances?’ And we said, ‘We know a little bit about that, yes, we can help.’”

Carroll laid out what you can expect during the meeting. “We’re going to have the architect (Alan Lowe) looking at the plans and walking us through how he is designing the house  and what considerations we’ve heard from the community that would be really helpful for families when they’re staying (there).”

While the foundation received a massive kick start through a whopping $3 million gift from an anonymous donor, fundraising continues as it looks to raise another $4.5 million to build the house, and another $3 million to set it up for operations for the first number of years.

“The communities have been so generous in terms of having events and donating dollars, eventually when we open the house there’s going to be an opportunity for people to volunteer, so there are so many different ways to get involved,” Carroll said. “I would say if you’re really interested in stepping up and helping, make a donation, reach out, phone us, send an email, and we’ll absolutely find a way for you to do what you can do in your community to help what we’re trying to do.”

Carroll noted that at a time when so many families are struggling, this is the kind of event that is really easy to get behind. 

“I encourage everybody who thinks about the importance of kids and youth to take a look at attending and certainly over the next year to get involved with us,” she added.

Meanwhile, the foundation says there is a possibility that it could be breaking ground on the project this week at the site, 555 2nd Ave.

“We haven’t gotten the permit from city hall but we’re anticipating that there is going to be some activity happening,” Carroll said.

“So we’re very, very excited.”