It began with the donation of city of Coquitlam-owned land worth $1.8 million.
It continued with a million bucks and a commitment from the YWCA.
And now, with $7.3 million in provincial government funding, Como Lake Gardens is set to be built and is scheduled to open its doors next spring to single mothers and their children.
The four-storey, 30-unit building is being built at the same time as the YWCA's Alder Gardens, a 36-unit facility in Surrey also aimed at low-income moms and their kids.
Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standards, Como Lake Gardens will include a common amenity room, indoor play areas and meeting space for outreach services - but no on-site daycare. The residents will be referrals to the YWCA.
Janet Austin, the YWCA's CEO, told The Tri-City News that priority for Como Lake Gardens will be given to women currently living or working in Coquitlam. She also said the average length of stay in a YWCA transition facility is less than five years.
Already on the waiting list is Maureen Cleary, 39, a single mother to a five-year-old, who works in Coquitlam with mentally challenged adults and attended last Friday's "celebration of construction" 528 Como Lake Ave. to talk about her past two years at the YWCA's facility in Langley, where she said she received excellent support.
Work on Como Lake Gardens was set to start two years ago but funding from the provincial government was delayed. Its $7.3-million grant is in addition to the $1.8 million in city land and the $1 million in contributions from the YWCA.
Referring to past opposition to the project, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said he hopes Como Lake Gardens will "blend in" with the community. "I hope all will come to accept it and come to see it is a great project that really contributes to a complete neighbourhood," he said. "I believe it will."
Meanwhile, B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman also updated The Tri-City News about the permanent homeless shelter proposed for a city lot at 3030 Gordon Ave. in Coquitlam, which the city rezoned last November.
"I'm awaiting approval for some capital funds. It's the priority project that's on the list so it's the next project that I will manage to get funding [for]," he said. "Hopefully in the next couple of months."