New bike outreach program, medical clinic at Sally Ann

Bikes to provide better access to clients, while a doctor has begun seeing patients once a week at Salvation Army.

Salvation Army Lt. Colonel Peter Roed (left)

Salvation Army Lt. Colonel Peter Roed (left)

Salvation Army outreach workers are now hitting the city on two wheels thanks to a donation from the Abbotsford Police Department.

In the past, the Sally Ann’s two full-time and one part-time outreach workers have relied almost exclusively on a van. But the donated bicycle – which had been destined for a police auction – is now being used by workers to access harder-to-reach locations, such as camps in forests and other areas inaccessible by a van.

The bikes also give workers more visibility and allow for easier access along busier roadways and for people on the move, according to Nate McCready, the Salvation Army’s community ministries director.

“With the bike, you see somebody and pull over and start chatting,” he said.

The bicycle outreach program started on Aug. 23, and it’s not the only new service being offered by the organization.

The Salvation Army’s new medical clinic for marginalized clients got a further boost this month with the addition of a doctor who can see patients for half a day each week.

A licenced practical nurse and a nurse practitioner had been offering services at the clinic. But earlier this year, Haitham Kharrat, a medical resident completing his training in Abbotsford stopped by the clinic to see how the nurse practitioner was helping the community.

Now fully certified, Kharrat – who won a UBC award for a research and advocacy project on such a clinic – is now practising in Abbotsford and treating patients at the Salvation Army. Fraser Health is providing financing for both the nurse practitioner and doctor services at the clinic.

McCready notes that the clinic provides a vital service to a population that rarely sees a doctor and yet is susceptible to a variety of health issues. It gives them an option other than turning to the hospital’s emergency room or the city’s busy walk-in clinics.

The Salvation Army also now has naloxone – an antidote to opioid overdose – on site. Workers have administered it five times so far, including three times across the street. The organization is also working on obtaining the training necessary to be able to distribute and train others in the use of naloxone. Earlier this year, Health Canada allowed naloxone to be distributed over-the-counter as the country deals with an increasing amount of deaths from opioid use.

By the end of July, 21 people had suffered fatal overdoses in Abbotsford.

“We’re hearing [there is] more use of naloxone because of that,” McCready said.

This fall, McCready himself is moving on from his spot leading Abbotsford’s Salvation Army services. McCready is heading to Vancouver, where he will serve as divisional emergency shelter co-ordinator and try to implement lessons learned from his time in Abbotsford.

The Salvation Army recently announced that all of its shelters would be “low-barrier” and McCready, who oversaw the Abbotsford shelter’s conversion to a low-barrier facility, will lead the drive in British Columbia.

A local replacement has not yet been hired.

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

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