Nancy Doyle

Nancy Doyle

Warm Zone staying open, still looking for funding

The Warm Zone, a drop-in centre for women who are "street entrenched" in downtown Abbotsford, will remain open for another few months.

  • Aug. 30, 2012 6:00 p.m.

The Warm Zone, a drop-in centre for women who are “street entrenched” in downtown Abbotsford, will remain open for another few months.

That was the good news at a relationship building event on Thursday afternoon in Jubilee Park, where there was barbecue, games, a band and a dunk tank with Abbotsford Police officers.

Federal funding for the facility has run out, and rumors have been swirling that the Warm Zone would close in September. It is operated by the Women’s Resource Society of the Fraser Valley, and executive director Dorothy Henneveld and president Ellen Boyes were at Jubilee Park to announce that they have some funds to continue operation for “a few months,” and hope to secure government funding for the $270,000 per year budget.

“It’s our priority this years to do whatever we can to keep the program moving on,” Boyes told a crowd that included about half of the centre’s clients, volunteers, police officers, local politicians and member of the public. “It’s a warm place, and our warmth is for you.”

Henneveld noted it is donations from individuals and businesses that have kept the lights on at the Warm Zone.

“I had an individual walk up and give us $10,000 last week,” she told the crowd.

Now, she said government needs to also be convinced of the value of the facility.

Many of the clients shared their stories on the mic and in conversation with those attending.

Marcy Doyle was an addict who lived on the streets for five years in Chilliwack, and more time in downtown Abbotsford.

For her, the Warm Zone was more than just a place to have a shower and a meal, and their caring approach got her off the streets.

“It’s just the family orientation. They’re like friends and councillors. They really care. They give you a hug, a word of encouragement – whatever you need.”

She is upgrading to get her high school diploma, and is getting straight As. She has done 115 hours as a Warm Zone volunteer and peer counsellor. She is going to visit family in Alberta, and would like to get a job as a commercial driver.

The idea of the Warm Zone closing is a “sad story,” she said.

“I’ve cried about five times here.”

Warm Zone coordinator Michele Giordano said it took courage for the women to stand up and tell their stories in public on Thursday, but she was not surprised. The event was their idea.

“They know the importance of this, and of their voice,” she said.

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

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