Non-profit looking for new home after beloved property deemed unsafe


WATCH: The future of a community hub is in limbo after they were forced to abandon their beloved property. Aaron Guillen has the story.

The Centennial United Church is now the temporary home of 1-Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre, an organization dedicated to helping hundreds of one-parent Greater Victoria families.

“They know the kids by name,” says Lisa Dalziel, a member and volunteer for over nine years.

“It’s a really warm place to go. Especially if you’re having struggles.”

Lisa Dalziel, volunteer and single mother, says 1Up has played a big role in her life.

But 1-Up is having its own struggle.

Earlier this year, the organization was forced out of their 134-year-old heritage home. A study showed the building is in danger of collapsing.

Restoring the old house would cost 1Up an estimated $1 million, and with an annual budget of $357,000 that price tag is out of reach. As far as it goes for selling the building, a heritage property can’t be torn down for redevelopment.

And that’s causing strains for the non-profit and its clients.

“It has been really hard,” says Marianne Sorensen, Executive Director at 1Up.

“We’re noticing fewer members coming, and partly I think it’s because of our limited hours. Part [of it] is that you build a community and have a home-like space to make people feel safe and comfortable there.”

Marianne Sorensen, Executive Director at 1UP, says a significant number of users have stopped dropping by the non-profit.

At this point, 1Up has two options. They can apply for the removal of the heritage designation or search for a new place to call home.

They’re looking for a space that won’t be in a gym and will have enough space to collect donations of food, toys, and clothes for families that could use a helping hand.

“It really makes a difference in the rest of your day or week,” says Dalziel cheerfully.

“You come home with a TNA shirt or something popular and their eyes light up.”

For now, 1-Up will continue working out of Centennial Church, looking for a new home as their old one is on the brink of falling apart.

The old heritage building, 603 Gorge Road East, deemed structurally unsafe.

Aaron GuillenAaron Guillen

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!