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Five Abbotsford projects receive $1.8M in Reaching Home funding

Federal program aimed at supporting housing and services for at-risk individuals
The city has announced $1.8 million in federal funding for five Abbotsford projects, including more than $32,000 for shipping containers for storage use at the Cole Starnes supportive residence on Riverside Road.

Five Abbotsford organizations will receive a total of almost $1.8 million towards safe, affordable housing and services for vulnerable people.

The funds have been allocated by the City of Abbotsford through the federal Reaching Home program. The allocation of the money comes following a two-year renewal of the city’s status as a designated community.

The city received 19 applications for the funding. A press release states that the five projects were selected for reducing the return to homelessness for at-risk individuals, providing wrap-around supports and services to help keep vulnerable people housed, and adding additional supportive housing spaces.

The chosen recipients are:

• Lookout Housing and Health Society – $54,400 for repairs and renovations in an affordable-housing complex on Center Street for eight people at risk of homelessness;

• Lookout Housing – $32,672 to purchase, install and equip shipping containers for storage use at the Cole Starnes supportive residence on Riverside Road;

• Raven’s Moon Resource Society – $600,090 to set up two additional houses to serve at-risk individuals and provide wrap-around services;

• Sema:th First Nation – $200,000 to support 75 at-risk individuals and families who are members of Sumas First Nation; and

• Cedar Outreach Society of B.C. – $900,000 to provide services such as financial assistance, rent supplements and home maintenance supports.

The projects will take place in 2024 and 2025 with the funding spread over the same period.

An additional $212,838 of Reaching Home funding remains for future considerations, such as data collection and coordination or resources, and will be allocated and disbursed by the community advisory board later this year.

Mayor Ross Siemens said homelessness and the risk of homelessness is a “complex issue” that remains a “growing concern” for the city.

“Supporting those at risk or experiencing homelessness requires a collaborative and coordinated approach, and these projects will help provide sustainable supports and housing options for the most vulnerable members of our community,” he said.

RELATED: Plans move to next stage for 61-unit supportive-housing project in Abbotsford