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Woodwyn Therapeutic Community; Central Saanich


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#1 Rob Randall

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:43 PM

Article in today's Globe and Mail on the Woodwyn Farm controversy:

An organized contingent of people who live near the farm voiced disapproval of Mr. Leblanc's request [to rezone the property]. Not long after that meeting, Farmlands Trust was formed. "Now the same folks who were campaigning against us strenuously are the same folks in this group," Mr. Leblanc said.

On Sunday, Mr. Leblanc and Ms. Souther met to try to find common ground.

Ms. Souther, who has lived near the farm for 20 years, said the two societies can work together to preserve farmland and help homeless people.

"There's this perception in the media that our group was formed to block Mr. Leblanc's plans," she said.

Farmlands Trust signed a covenant with the Land Conservancy on May 8 which, if the trust purchases the farm, renders it farmland forever.

Ms. Souther said she is opposed to having dozens of homeless people - familiar enough in Victoria, which has at least 1,500 homeless people - living in her rural neighbourhood. A nearby, closed school could provide a better setting to train or house the homeless, she said.

Mr. Leblanc said he's not sure he wants to work with the people who vigorously shot down his plans. "How they've conducted themselves so far gives us cause to be cautious," he said.



#2 rjag

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 05:00 PM

Welcome to central Saanich, AKA "Cuba North"

Notice how the Council is quiet on this front.

#3 gumgum

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:20 AM

Door now open for Woodwynn Farm project
Group's decision to drop competing bid creates a wonderful opportunity for all
Richard LeBlanc, Special to Times Colonist
Published: Friday, June 06, 2008


#4 martini

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 01:11 AM

http://www.canada.co...54-c0c3500697db

#5 ZGsta

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 03:30 PM

Apparently the Creating Homefulness Society has just come up with enough money to trump the Farmlands Trust (AKA the neighbors around the farm who don't want homeless people near them) and buy Woodwynn Farm.
http://www.timescolo...2796/story.html

#6 victorian fan

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 04:49 PM

Central Saanich council said zoning would not permit a residential program.


Can anyone explain how this will work?

#7 Barra

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 01:00 PM

Given the Council's restriction, they are going to make this work without the residential component. They are planning both to bus people in and are in discussion with the neighbouring First Nation about building housing on the reserve.
Pieta VanDyke

#8 julienne

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:15 AM

Has anyone heard any updates on this issue? Have they begun farming?

#9 Caramia

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:00 PM

They've been having work parties to get the land ready.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#10 martini

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 10:41 AM

Volunteers tackle cleanup of Woodwynn Farms

Goal is to have homeless working at the property as early as this fall

By Matthew Pearson, Times Colonist
July 12, 2009



Volunteers spent a sunny Saturday giving Woodwynn Farms in Central Saanich some much-needed TLC yesterday.

The 77-hectare plot of land on West Saanich Road, recently purchased by the Creating Homefulness Society, is being transformed into a working farm and therapeutic community for Victoria's homeless population.

People were busy scraping paint off some of the 15 outbuildings on the property -- some of which date back to 1864 -- adding a fresh coat of paint to others and clearing out blackberry bushes.

Others collected hay in one of the front fields, overlooking picturesque Saanich Inlet.

The group of 20 or so people, from toddlers to retirees, enjoyed sandwiches and juice served by Salvation Army volunteers.

"The homeless issue has always been on my mind and this seems like a positive alternative," said volunteer Bill Scriven.

Support from people like Scriven has been overwhelming, said Woodwynn Farms executive director Richard Leblanc. "People love being part of something so positive," he said, adding 60 people turned out for one of the weekly work parties, which began when the society took possession of the farm at the beginning of June.

Leblanc said at this stage, it's too soon to involve the homeless in the project. The goal is to bring the first homeless to the farm as early as this fall. "We want to have the ability to have supervision and counsellors available when we incorporate the homeless."

Leblanc, who lives on the property, is no stranger to the challenges faced by the city's homeless. From 1998 to 2002, he headed up the Youth Employment Project, which helped young people on the streets find gainful employment.

"For me, it was unconscionable not to do anything for the homeless in Victoria," he said. "I wanted to find a big and better way to help a lot of people."

He certainly found a bigger way. The six-year plan for Woodwynn Farms includes an equine therapy program, six greenhouses, bee-keeping, 3,800 fruit trees and several hundred community garden plots.

Kim Kueber came all the way from Calgary to volunteer full-time at the farm. "This is a place of hope and it's a place for people to put their hope," she said, adding she has worked with homeless people in Calgary for six years, but was looking for a good reason to move back to Victoria.

Kueber said the "magical" farm setting can lead to sustained changes in the lives of participants.

The society, which is not affiliated with any religious denomination, received funding from Coast Capital Savings, the United Way and private philanthropists.

To learn more about the weekly work parties at the farm, visit

createhomefulness.org.

mpearson@tc.canwest.com
© Copyright © The Victoria Times Colonist
http://www.timescolo...3370/story.html

#11 Mike K.

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:10 PM

...

Vantreight and Woodwynn: two farms, two sustainability models
By Robert Randall, VibrantVictoria.ca
http://vibrantvictoria.ca/?p=2178

Does agriculture have a sustainable future in the Victoria region? According to two local farmers, the answer is yes. An earlier article profiled Madrona Farm in Saanich’s Blenkinsop Valley, which is at the finish line of a bid to turn the farm over to The Land Conservancy. This article profiles two local farms that are struggling to find ways to stay relevant.
Vantreight’s Hill Project

In Central Saanich, long-time daffodil farmer Ian Vantrieght has a plan to ensure long-term stability: transforming several acres of what he calls non-productive land on his property on Wallace Drive into 58 single family homes. After buying out his brother Michael for control of the farm in 2006, Ian initially conceived a plan to develop a mix of townhomes and single-family-homes (89 units in total) on the calved-off piece of land. Dubbed The Hill Project, the plans for the 33-acre site have since been downscaled and have been ping-ponging through the development process for over three years. Dozens of iterations were drawn up and scrapped (Vantreight counts 82) and contentious meetings were held at Central Saanich Council with project critics, supporters, the CRD, Council and Staff debating everything from the merits of developing on the Agricultural Land Reserve to interpretations of the Regional Growth Strategy. [...]


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#12 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:08 PM

Looks like a bit of a slow start...

WOODWYN FARM SET TO ACCEPT NEW PARTICIPANTS

Jul 7, 2010

WOODWYN FARM IS UP AND RUNNING NOW, AND THE FARMS FOUNDER SAYS WHILE CURRENT PARTICIPANT NUMBERS ARE LOW, THEY HOPE TO ONE DAY BE ABLE TO ALLOW CLOSE TO 100 PEOPLE TO LIVE AND WORK AT THE FARM WHOSE MISSION IS TO HELP HOMELESS PEOPLE TRANSFORM THEIR LIVES


[...]

"well physically on the farm right now we have 1, we had 2 and 1 fellow, after about 8 weeks it didn't work out for him, so I guess we're back down to the first fellow, and we have 3 in detox. 1 fellow should be with us in about 3-4 days"


[...]

http://cfax1070.com/...hp?newsId=14266
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#13 spanky123

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:50 PM

I credit Richard and the volunteers for trying to pull this off but there are still a lot of barriers to overcome here. They are going to need to show that this is going to benefit more than a handful of people in order to keep the donations and fundraising going.

#14 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:24 PM

This type of program was a success in Italy. It's never been tried in Victoria. We can't give up on it too easily.

#15 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:28 PM

This type of program was a success in Italy. It's never been tried in Victoria. We can't give up on it too easily.


I hope it didn't sound like I was dismissing the project. I know it is only going to take a very small percentage of the homeless population that it is going to work for. I thought they'd have a high attrition rate, but not such a slow intake to start with.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#16 Sparky

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:31 PM

I hope it didn't sound like I was dismissing the project. I know it is only going to take a very small percentage of the homeless population that it is going to work for. I thought they'd have a high attrition rate, but no such a slow intake to start with.


Rome wasn't wired in a day. :)

#17 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:45 PM

They want to start with four people, then slowly ramp up to 12. Timing is important. The people have to be fairly stable and motivated to change.

That's the general difficulty treating addiction. Drug dependency often goes in cycles. Unfortunately, detox availability also goes in cycles and it's tough to match up a person who is mentally/physically stable enough to go into rehab with the availability of a treatment bed.

#18 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:34 PM

Woodwynn has suspended operations for financial reasons, at least temporarily.

http://woodwynnfarms...ends-operations
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#19 Mike K.

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

Central Saanich has served Woodwynn with a lawsuit.

Central Saanich, British Columbia

Woodwynn Therapeutic Community for the Homeless, has been served with a Notice of Civil Claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, by the District of Central Saanich. The District has once again decided to bully Woodwynn, using local bylaws as a cover and an excuse to try and shut down a farm loved for its work to help the homeless. No effort to accommodate the farm and its residents has ever been made by the District over the years, if anything the District tries to fan the flames.

"We are incredulous that they would go to such trouble and use taxpayer $$ to deliberately discriminate against a class of citizens, people who are homeless" stated Richard Leblanc, Founder & Executive Director of the Creating Homefulness Society, which operates Woodwynn Farms.

"People trying to rebuild their lives and healing from homelessness need a wholesome, soothing place to be successful in their efforts. Woodwynn Farms has been that place for some and could be for more if the District of Central Saanich would open its heart and put an end to the constant harassment, " asserted Leblanc.

"Thousands of people have come here to help work, to help fundraise, to participate in events from school children to seniors. They've painted and planted and weeded. They've sweated in the hot sun and worked hard in the rain. Everyone values the work Woodwynn does and everyone gets something good from it. The support is as clear as the need."

"We have been good members of the community, quiet, peaceful, keeping the farm safe and whole and making excellent improvements to it by planting fruit and nut trees, acres of vegetables, rehabilitating Hagan Creek and upgrading the existing buildings, but the harassment is endless. It's clearly a case of a few bees buzzing around for something to feel important about. Since none of the fears a few nimbys tried to raise in the beginning have come true such as an increase in crime in the neighbourhood, the Council feels it needs to resort to nitpicking and legal hassles to evict the Woodwynn project from its home. "

"There is so much solidarity from this community and from Greater Victoria generally for the good work being done here that the endless peevishness from Central Saanich makes no sense, " he adds; "Lives are in the balance here. People who have been rejected and neglected by society are being helped back into a life of hope and good citizenship. We asked for a small release from the ALR of 2 acres out of 193 acres to place the housing and common areas, but were rejected by Council. We can only hope that the District of Central Saanich will have a change of heart and join in with the good work we are doing. It's time to come out from behind the closed doors of in camera meetings, it's time for each and every councillor to put aside the groupthink that they hide behind and find a way to make this project work. Dragging Woodwynn through the courts is not the appropriate way for Central Saanich to do its share towards helping the homeless."

Contact:
Richard Leblanc,
Founder and Executive Director,
Creating Homefulness Society
Tel: 250-544-1175
C: 250-589-5805
richardl@woodwynnfarms.org


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#20 Mr Cook Street

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

Sad to see such a concerted effort to disrupt this program.



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