$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

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.

Just Posted

Cupcake Family Picnic officially launches at Honda Way in Abbotsford

Signed Vancouver Canuck Brock Boeser #6 jersey will hang in showroom until being auctioned off in March 2020

Students at old Abbotsford school trained for the war

Philip Sheffield High School had firing range in basement

Abbotsford’s Remembrance Days in 1939 and 1945 through historical archives

Abbotsford News reporting shows the anxieties of people living through conflict

Remembrance Day service at Thunderbird Memorial Square

Event in Abbotsford on Monday, Nov. 11 hosted by Royal Canadian Legion

VIDEOS: First-ever PPW champion crowned in Abbotsford

Highlights and results from Saturday’s Championship Tournament event

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read