Families staying with relatives who are receiving medical treatment in Victoria will soon have a free place to stay.
Jeneece Place, which will open Jan. 20, is a free facility with several amentities besides a place to sleep, including private bathrooms, a communal kitchen supplied with free food, and a garden with playground.
The Place also has a dedicated staff that is a mixture of paid professionals and volunteers.
Jeneece Place is named after Jeneece Edroff, who has been the driving force behind this project and several others.
Edroff was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis at the age of three. The condition causes tumors to grow on nerve pathways anywhere in the body, in her case mostly out of her spine.
At the time, doctors predicted that she would never walk again and wouldn’t live to her teens. But since then she has done both and much more.
She began her charity career at the young age of seven with her penny drive for Variety in Vancouver.
“They raised something like $600 in the first year,” said CTV Vancouver Island manager Bruce Williams, who was raising awareness of the new facility at Port Hardy’s most recent town council meeting.
Since its beginning, the penny drive has raised about $1.4 million in pennies.
The Place is her latest project, and it had an ambitious fundraising goal of $5.5 million for construction and later operation.
The amount donated has exceeded that goal.
TELUS, the Norgard Foundation and the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children have each donated $1 million. Closer to home, the Port Hardy Rotary Club donated $4,000 and the campaign received $110, 000 combined from various Rotary Clubs.
The project to date has raised $6.1 million.
“When the inspiration and the will is there, that’s when it happens,” said Williams.