To call Beverly Suek a mover and a shaker in our community is an understatement. Beverly has been instrumental to so many organizations, including as the former CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, as the co-chair of the community committee for the Birth Centre, and as a tireless worker at our local community centre.
So it’s no surprise to me that Beverly has launched a new initiative to help senior women who want to create their own choices for housing. While working with the group Retirement Options for Women, Bev discovered that many Baby Boomer women have limited income, and substantially less retirement income than men. Women also tend to live longer, live alone or suffer from loneliness and fears about security.
As Bev says, "We want our own home, to control our own environment — but we don’t want to be lonely as we grow older."
Bev’s goal is to address these difficulties by creating a model for intentional communities for senior women.
An intentional community can be established in a condo or through a co-operative model, following any structure people choose. It can also be integrated into an established residential area, to give nearby seniors the option to remain in their own neighbourhoods and continue to contribute to life there, instead of moving to a self-contained retirement home in a different part of the province.
In Riverview, Bev’s intentional community will be made up of five-to-seven women who will live together, "sharing expenses, sharing tasks and sharing stories," in a house on Oakwood Avenue.
Bev has named her initiative WHIM — the Women’s Housing Initiative Manitoba — because she considers this a whimsical concept at heart; it’s different, innovative and fun. The Oakwood home may become a co-operative eventually but for now it’s about keeping expenses low and creating community.
Bev encourages people to think about what they might create with their own friends, but if anyone is interested in learning more about their home on Oakwood, please contact email@example.com.
It’s fantastic to have caring, energetic people like Bev in our community. I’ve known her so long, from her involvement in so many groups, that I can’t imagine Riverview without her.
Do you know a person or organization making a difference here in our area? Feel free to call my office at 204-475-2270 or email me at James.Allum@YourManitoba.ca. I’d love to hear more about it.