A Step in the Right Direction

In November last year, I announced funding for a temporary winter-response shelter here in Abbotsford. My first words at the announcement were “Good morning,” but I found I had to adjust my statement. For me, it wasn’t a good morning—it was a great morning.

The shelter is an investment in the lives of our most vulnerable people. Run by the Look-out Society, the shelter will be a warm, dry place that meets the basic daily needs of 40 people—32 men and 8 women—24/7. But more than that, it’s a step in finding long-term housing and connecting people to the resources they need to change their lives. In the words of Shayne Williams from the Lookout Society: “This project will save lives.

The shelter is created from six trailer units that have been revamped to include sleeping quarters, laundry and shower facilities, a kitchen, and medical examination room. Operational costs for the shelter are being carried by the BC Government The City has covered the cost of the refurbished trailers, provided the land, and paid for site preparation. In the future, the trailers can be reused for City purposes, leased, or sold, which will minimize the overall costs. Plus the land is now fully serviced and much more profitable if the City should wish to sell it in the future.

It’s expected that the shelter will be running until April and that it will need to be set up for one more winter while we wait for the permanent housing on Gladys Avenue to be built.

I strongly believe that this is a step in the right direction as we strive to address homelessness in our community. It’s healthy for the individuals who need the support and healthy for our community at large. Along with our partners, we are working hard to get people off the streets and into housing where their needs can be met. 

Need to get in touch? Call or write to me: 604-864-5500 / MayorBraun@Abbotsford.ca.