$16,000 for Salvation Army raised by 24 Hours Homeless

Event showed participants some of the challenges of living without housing

Salvation Army administrative assistant Rose Wood explains the phone sign-up procedure to Marion Keys and Tina Stewart

Salvation Army administrative assistant Rose Wood explains the phone sign-up procedure to Marion Keys and Tina Stewart

They spent 24 hours living without housing — and raised $16,000 for the Salvation Army in the process.

The nine participants in the charity’s 24 Hours Homeless event started their experience yesterday at 6 p.m., and in just one day they say they’ve learned plenty.

They learned homeless people in Abbotsford face complex, systemic issues that aren’t easy to solve.

“Everything is interconnected. If you don’t have one piece, everything is stalled,” said Bev Hasenpflug, who works for Quantum Properties. Her “case plan,” for the day asked her to sign up for housing assistance and temporary work — but with her ID left behind, she realized both were near-impossible.

“There’s nowhere to go for five or six weeks. You’re stuck.”

Participants spent last night staying in a re-purposed activity room at the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope on Gladys Avenue, separate from the centre’s regular intake.

Karina Urbanoski, who signed up through her church, recognized how things would’ve been different if she had needed a regular shelter bed.

“I was buffered. But if I was totally alone, I’d be scared,” she said. “It’s been an emotionally edgy day.”

The tension between everyday life and the on-the-margins roles they were asked to play was palpable for others, too.

Tina Stewart, the executive director of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association, said she wasn’t always treated nicely when she sought out services — until others realized she didn’t actually need them.

“That was a bit of the real, authentic experience” she said.

Another participant saw an old friend who had fallen on hard times using the Salvation Army’s services. He’d been a successful businessman when they knew each other a quarter-century ago, she noted, and it confirmed for her how these issues can affect a wide range of people.

Dave Schmirler, the Operations Deputy Chief Constable for the Abbotsford Police Department, was allowed to keep his phone with him for the sole purpose of live-tweeting. Here’s the event chronicled on Twitter:

Nobody completed a full case plan, which is exactly what Nate McCready, the Abbotsford Salvation Army community ministries director, expected. He’d wanted to show the participants just how difficult it can be to find work, assistance and resources without shelter.

The participants walked away with more understanding, which he saw as a success.

“We had a really good response from the participants and the clients,” he said.

The $16,000 fundraising total for the Salvation Army was collected through individual pledges for each participant. “As a first time initiative, the fundraising was great,” McCready continued.

The event was put on as part of Homelessness Action Week, a campaign with the goal of solving homelessness throughout the province. McCready hopes to make it an annual fundraiser and share it with other Salvation Army chapters.

A full list of this year’s participants:

Dave Schmirler, Abbotsford Police Deputy Chief

Mark Warkentin, a board member with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce

Marion Keys of the Abbotsford Hospice Society

Bev Hasenpflug of Quantum Properties

Tina Stewart of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association

Kal Sidhu of FirstPage Marketing

Mike Welte of Farm Credit Canada

Nicholas Man

Karina Urbanoski

Donations are still being accepted. For more information, view visit blackpress4good.com or call 604-852-9305.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photo illustration shows a proposed fountain in Mill Lake. (City of Abbotsford photo)
City to consider fountain for Mill Lake using donated funds

Matter comes before Abbotsford council on Monday afternoon

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

The Abbotsford IHOP, shown here on April 5, is now completely removed. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford IHOP building taken down

Iconic restaurant had been on South Fraser Way for nearly 33 years

Abbotsford's Rick Hansen Secondary School is celebrating Vaisakhi virtually for 2021. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Secondary School celebrates ‘Virtual Vaisakhi’

Production highlights local youth talent in anticipation of the start of annual festival on April 13

The Abbotsford Gogos are inviting local residents to watch a virtual concert in support of African grandmothers. The concert first airs on April 15. (Photo: Abbotsford Gogos Facebook page)
Abbotsford Gogos invite guests to virtual concert to support African grandmothers

Event first airs on April 15, featuring music, dance and storytelling

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read