eet James, Kiki, and Alex!
Meet Kiki, James, and Alex!
Kiki and James and their 3-year old Alex moved to Victoria last year from Nanaimo. Like many in this city, Kiki and James both work for the provincial government and their early life in Victoria was defined by housing and childcare madness.
James graduated from VIU and landed a job at the Ministry of Finance. Moving from Nanaimo to Victoria is no small feat and James had to came alone and – like many of us, including my family! – he had to stay with friends until he was able to find a home for his family. James stayed with a family of four in their two bedroom, a tight fit! Jame wasn’t the one of his friends in a tight situation – another friend was sharing their small space while he looked for housing.
It took more than a month of searching to find a home; Kiki eventually landed a job with the public service, and the family was reunited in Victoria.
… But what about a safe place for little Alex? When Kiki talks about her efforts to find childcare, she sighs and shakes her head. She called dozens and dozens of places. No luck. What are parents with young children supposed to do when work is not optional in this city? Kiki eventually sent a mass email to all the childcare providers in she could find. And one – yes, one – responded.
Luckily, they landed great care. But we need more than luck, more than putting your littlest loved ones in whatever spot is available. We need a childcare strategy for all families – ask the Chamber of Commerce how important it is to local small businesses.
This family is now settled in Victoria. James plays soccer and tennis, Alex has friends, and on top of working, parenting and living life, Kiki is taking courses and exams to make sure she can use her law degree and career from Nigeria in her work with the provincial government.
Alex is expecting a little sister around Christmas time and the two bedroom this family worked hard to find will feel a little tighter. They’re going to need a bit more space. My job this election campaign and, with your help, the next four years is to make sure that Victoria is at least an option for them – currently, they just don’t see how it could be.