Abby House has been operating at 2676 Gladys Ave. in Abbotsford since 1991. The building was heavily damaged by a fire in October. (Submitted photo)

Abby House has been operating at 2676 Gladys Ave. in Abbotsford since 1991. The building was heavily damaged by a fire in October. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford mental-health organization weighs options after fire destroys building

Abby House considers whether to restore old home or build a new one

An Abbotsford organization that supports people with severe and persistent mental illness is considering its next options after a fire heavily damaged the building it had been in for more than 30 years.

Abby House, which is operated by the non-profit organization Creative Centre Society, is temporarily renting space at the Abbotsford Social Activity Association’s building in downtown Abbotsford.

They had been in their building at 2676 Gladys Avenue since 1991 but it was damaged by a fire on Oct. 13 that was suspected to have been caused by someone trying to stay warm while using drugs.

Adina MacDonald, program facilitator and mental health worker, said their insurance will help them rebuild but will not replace the contents, such as furniture.

She said the organization is in the process of deciding their next steps — whether they restore the building, which was built in 1910 or build new with social housing as part of the project.

ALSO READ: Depression: When darkness takes over

“As many community members and businesses in Abbotsford know, there is a tremendous lack of social housing in our area which, combined with the opioid crisis and homelessness, contributes to people living in survival mode and doing what they can to stay warm and dry during the coldest months of the year,” she said.

MacDonald said Abby House often found its parking lot being used as temporary shelter, and would often arrive to find evidence of shelters, campfires, debris, drug paraphernalia and human waste.

The organization provides skill-building, wellness and support groups every day, while also assisting clients in employment and volunteer searches.

MacDonald said the rebuild/build effort has already been supported by a large donation from Fraserway RV.

Others who want to donate to the cause can do so online at by searching “Creative Centre Society for Mental Wellness.”

For more information on how to support, including community partnerships, contact executive director Jennifer Ridgeway at 604-308-0385 or visit

RELATED: Event brings awareness to mental health issues

charityfiremental health

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


Abby House at 2676 Gladys Ave. was heavily damaged by a fire in October. (Submitted photo)

Abby House at 2676 Gladys Ave. was heavily damaged by a fire in October. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Once again Fraser East is among the health service delivery areas with the highest rate of COVID-19 transmission in the province. (Datawrapper)
Fraser East sees third highest rate of COVID-19 cases in B.C.

The region is seeing a sustained increase in new COVID-19 cases

Once a star player with the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team, Kayli Sartori is moving into a new role coaching the next generation of Cascades. (UFV photo)
Chilliwack’s Kayli Sartori goes from court to coach with UFV basketball Cascades

Sartori is taking a new path as part of the U-Sports female basketball apprentice coaching program

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Sarah De Klein and her family have created a team – one of many – for the Move4Communitas fitness challenge and fundraiser. (Submitted photo)
Communitas in Abbotsford holds virtual fitness challenge

Move4Communitas started March 1 and runs for 8 weeks

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Man dead after single vehicle collision in Surrey; speed possible factor

Police say vehicle collided with telephone pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Most Read