Construction of Holmberg House is well underway.

Construction of Holmberg House is well underway.

Holmberg House receives $50,000 grant

FVRD approves grant to the Abbotsford Hospice Society.

The Abbotsford Hospice Society (AHS) will have another $50,000 for the completion of the city’s first adult hospice, Holmberg House.

Board of directors at the Fraser Valley Regional District approved the grant on Dec. 18.

“They certainly desperately need the money to get this built, sooner rather than later, because we don’t have a hospice in Abbotsford. And for a community this size, that’s really quite appalling,” said FVRD director and Abbotsford city councillor Patricia Ross. “It provides the comforting kind of end-of-life care that you can’t necessarily get at a hospital.”

With construction well underway, AHS is still about $5 million short of the goal to complete Holmberg House. Organizers have said that construction may be delayed until the goal is met, and the non-profit has called on the community for help.

The FVRD allotted its grant on the understanding that the strategically located Holmberg House will be serving not only Abbotsford residents, but also people from other parts of the Fraser Valley. The building sits beside the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre and forms the third rung of the nascent Dave Lede Campus of Care, alongside Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, and Matthew’s House, which serves children with complex needs.

Ross added that the grant corrects a past wrong. A few years ago, Canuck Place received a grant of $50,000 from FVRD. But when AHS approached with the same funding request for Holmberg House, it was denied.

“It really wasn’t fair, because it’s all part of the same campus,” said Ross.

Holmberg House will receive the grant in 2014.