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Donations sought for Kiwannis housing project in Qualicum Beach

The Qualicum Parksville Kiwanis Housing Society could have an extra $2,000 towards its current affordable housing project after a challenge was presented at a recent meeting on homelessness on Thursday.

The meeting was held by the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness and one of the questions at the end of the meeting surrounded the Kiwanis Village project. Qualicum Beach councillor Bill Luchtmeijer said tendering has begun and by the end of the summer the project should see shovels in the dirt. Qualicum Beach mayor Teunis Westbroek told attendees at the meeting that the Town of Qualicum Beach has contributed about $1 million but that the Kiwanis Club still needs to borrow $3 million more.

He appealed to the public to support the project.

"The more money we can raise before they go to borrow, the less they have to charge for rent," Westbroek said. "So if you could talk to your organization or make a donation — I know a lot of people talk the talk about how bad this is in the community, now's your chance."

After hearing the appeal, Major Martin Ketteringham from the local Salvation Army said he was moved to do something.

"Once I check with my wife I would like to donate $1,000 to the project and I would challenge anyone here who is so inclined to make a contribution. This is something we need to get behind. It's not going to solve all the issues but it's a step in the right direction for our community."

Westbroek said that was an awesome challenge.

"I'm going to talk to my wife and do the same thing," he said.

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