Marianne Sorensen, executive director of the 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre, sits in front of produce donations that had just been placed in their donation room. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Single parent resource centre continues operations in partially-condemned building

Victoria’s 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre moves back into heritage home

A shelf filled with car seats sits in the middle of a hallway at the 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre. While it’s not the most aesthetic choice, it does the job of blocking off the part of the building engineers have condemned.

In February, 1Up was forced to flee its long-time home at 602 Gorge Rd. E. when an engineer’s report determined that the heritage building had major structural concerns and was on the verge of collapsing.

For the past five months, 1Up continued part-time operations in the gym of the neighbouring Centennial United Church at 612 David St., while looking for solutions.

READ MORE: Victoria single parent resource centre forced to flee collapsing building

“It was a pretty modified way to do business, but during that time we’ve been doing engineering studies and explorations to try to understand what’s happening with the building,” said Marianne Sorensen, executive director.

Luckily, they came up with a temporary solution.

“Through that process, it turned out that the critical area at this point is the addition at the back of the building, so after lots of discussions and investigations we were told we could occupy the main part of the building,” Sorensen said.

Blocking off the newest addition to the building, and agreeing to do some repair work on window and door arches has bought 1Up some more time to further evaluate the situation.

The centre now has six months to do initial repairs, and up to two years of continued slope monitoring from engineers to determine if the foundation is still shifting or not.

The back two rooms, totalling 600 square-feet, used to house a sorting and donation room, both of which have now been moved to the front of the building.

“Because we’ve lost a lot of space we’ve had to limit the kinds of donations that we can take. We used to be able to take bigger houseware kinds of things and big baby equipment, but we don’t have the space for that stuff anymore,” Sorensen said. “But, we’re really happy to be back.”

ALSO READ: Oak Bay’s Spandads help give new life to used bikes

The compromise has allowed services to restart as before, and 1Up is still accepting donations of clothing, food and smaller equipment for babies.

“It’s bought us some time, and allowed us to come on in and get back on our feet,” Sorensen said. “It’s a pain but the story is far from over.”

To help fundraise for the most immediate repairs, 1Up is also co-hosting a charity golf tournament with the Capital City Group. The 18-hole, best ball game will include a banquet and silent auction at the Gorge Vale Golf Club on Aug. 16. Tickets to the event are $175 per person.

For more information, you can visit singleparentvictoria.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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