April 08, 2022

Canadian Resort Reconverted into Ukrainian Refugee Shelter

An old nature resort in British Columbia, Canada has been given a new lease on life: as a shelter for Ukrainian refugees.

Last year, Brian and Sharon Holowaychuks purchased the Grouse Nest, a 33-hectare property in East Sooke, Vancouver Island. Surrounded by lush foliage and overlooking a spectacular waterfront, the couple were going to convert the resort into an art gallery and events centre.

But when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale attack on Ukraine in late February, the Holowaychuks knew they had to do something.

“We’re in a position, in a place, in a time where we could help make a bit of a difference,” said Brian, whose grandparents originate from Ukraine. “And I thought, you know, it’s time to stand up and be counted.”

And so, pausing on their initial remodelling plans, the couple – with the aid of volunteers from the local community – reconverted the Grouse Nest into a shelter for incoming Ukrainian refugees, which has since been renamed the “Ukrainian Safe Haven”.

“My personal goal is 100 people,” Brian told a local media outlet. “We’ve got 19 people booked to be coming in about two-to-three weeks.”

There, refugees can stay as long as they like, and will receive food, education, and resettlement aid among other amenities.

The Ukrainian Safe Haven has also since been registered as a non-profit organisation. As such, they welcome donations and volunteer support from the public.

Image Credit: Source