Candace House is finally open. Now families who have lost a loved one and are experiencing a terrible grief may come here and feel less alone.
This centre is named after Candace, a 13-year-old girl who went missing 34 years ago and was later found dead. Her mother was crying with happiness when she came to the opening. Despite the fact that every November she is very worried and recalls her tragedy, the woman said that she was very glad that such a place appeared and she regretted that it was not there at that moment when her daughter was killed.
In the centre a person can feel a homely atmosphere: there is a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, a play area for children and a special place for sacred smudging. There is also a sculpture of Candace that was created by her father. It shows that Candace’s arms that were bound are free now.
Wilma Derksen and Cliff said they had to look for a place to meet with other families. A place like Candace House could help them a lot to survive their grief.
The centre is open very little but it has already managed to help the family of an 18-year-old boy who was killed. Brophy’s parents are awaiting a court decision, and Candace House helps them cope with the tragedy in the family.
Candace House is currently the only center of this kind but it will expand the scope its action. In the future, people will be able to get various consultations, attend special programs and visit support groups.
The idea of creating something like this came to Derksen 5 years ago, however, there were problems with finding a place and funding. Over $250,000 were donated by city inhabitants, and over $50,000 were donated by the province's department of victim services.