Homelessness

Jenni Johnson (right) and Jordie Lynn both have aged out of the foster system, which they say leaves youths ill-prepared for life on their own feet. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

‘It’s like a trap; it’s like they don’t want you to succeed’

Abbotsford youths formerly in government care speak out on how the system can foster homelessness

Jenni Johnson (right) and Jordie Lynn both have aged out of the foster system, which they say leaves youths ill-prepared for life on their own feet. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Jenni Johnson (right) and Jordie Lynn both have aged out of the foster system, which they say leaves youths ill-prepared for life on their own feet. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

A WAY HOME: Ministry responds to criticism of foster system

Ministry says number of youth in system is shrinking, more being done to help youth transition

Jenni Johnson (right) and Jordie Lynn both have aged out of the foster system, which they say leaves youths ill-prepared for life on their own feet. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Zanzara Huebsch stands in her living room near a picture of her son, Kevan Bardell, who died of an overdose on Gladys Avenue on June 6, 2017 after years of homelessness. Huebsch says her son struggled with addictions, which she believes spiralled out of control after he was attacked and severely beaten. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Shining Son: A light lost from an Abbotsford mother’s life

A year-and-a-half later, Zanzara Huebsch struggles to cope with the loss of her son

Zanzara Huebsch stands in her living room near a picture of her son, Kevan Bardell, who died of an overdose on Gladys Avenue on June 6, 2017 after years of homelessness. Huebsch says her son struggled with addictions, which she believes spiralled out of control after he was attacked and severely beaten. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Abbotsford homeless count could be improved: harm reduction worker

Abbotsford homeless count could be improved: harm reduction worker

Single-day methodology ‘invariably’ yields low count, weather-dependent results, Jesse Wegenast says

Abbotsford homeless count could be improved: harm reduction worker
Colleen Aitken, affectionately known by many of her peers as “Mom,” fits her matriarchal title well. She keeps guard of some of the younger, vulnerable individuals on the streets and she provides for those who need help. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

The Mom of Abbotsford’s streets

Colleen Aitken is often called ‘Mom’ for her advice, her protective eye and her care for her ‘little ones’

Colleen Aitken, affectionately known by many of her peers as “Mom,” fits her matriarchal title well. She keeps guard of some of the younger, vulnerable individuals on the streets and she provides for those who need help. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Best Friends: How pets can improve the lives of Abbotsford’s homeless

Best Friends: How pets can improve the lives of Abbotsford’s homeless

Responsibility over a cat or dog makes Gary Hull take fewer risks and take better care of himself

Best Friends: How pets can improve the lives of Abbotsford’s homeless
Brad Wernicke and Becky Bird say being a couple on the streets poses some challenges, but it also yields some benefits to their situation, including security and a sense of responsibility to one another. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Somebody to love: Comforts and challenges as a couple on the streets

Life as a homeless couple forces ultimatums; it also brings the security of having each other’s back

Brad Wernicke and Becky Bird say being a couple on the streets poses some challenges, but it also yields some benefits to their situation, including security and a sense of responsibility to one another. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Harvey Clause drives his bicycle and trolley everywhere he goes, but his load has gotten slimmer over time. In his binning days, he would carry multiple trolleys behind his bike, but he now just hauls the one. He’s got space to hold some of his stuff at the seniors’ winter shelter, and no longer needs to haul around loads of recyclables and other items he’s found in the bins. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

A WAY HOME: Abbotsford’s greenest citizens

Service provider says the homeless population is Abbotsford’s most environmentally friendly

Harvey Clause drives his bicycle and trolley everywhere he goes, but his load has gotten slimmer over time. In his binning days, he would carry multiple trolleys behind his bike, but he now just hauls the one. He’s got space to hold some of his stuff at the seniors’ winter shelter, and no longer needs to haul around loads of recyclables and other items he’s found in the bins. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
The Giver: A community builder in Abbotsford’s homeless community

The Giver: A community builder in Abbotsford’s homeless community

A WAY HOME: Harvey Clause wants to build a life helping those around him

The Giver: A community builder in Abbotsford’s homeless community
Harvey Clause has big ideas about helping the local homeless community. He wants to see another tent city – this time with more structure – to bring the community together. Clause sees the community as stronger when united. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

A WAY HOME: How to take action

We asked service providers how you can help Abbotsford’s homeless population

Harvey Clause has big ideas about helping the local homeless community. He wants to see another tent city – this time with more structure – to bring the community together. Clause sees the community as stronger when united. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Abbotsford program painting picture of homelessness in motion

Abbotsford program painting picture of homelessness in motion

Co-ordinated intake and referral program sees 387 referrals of homeless and at-risk in community

Abbotsford program painting picture of homelessness in motion
Abbotsford Stories Project/Screengrab

City of Abbotsford releases video series on homelessness strategy

Abbotsford Stories Project highlights strategy, referral program and story of one woman’s experience

Abbotsford Stories Project/Screengrab
Grace Unruh is one of the proposed ambassadors with the Drug War Survivors Business Engagement Ambassadors Program, which is intended to improve relationships with the local business community.  Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford homeless seek to improve relations with local businesses

Ambassador program would clean up businesses, help calm tense situations

Grace Unruh is one of the proposed ambassadors with the Drug War Survivors Business Engagement Ambassadors Program, which is intended to improve relationships with the local business community.  Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
City of Abbotsford bylaw officers work down at the Gladys Ave. homeless camp in August, speaking with people still at the site, where B.C. Hydro crews cleared the campsite just weeks prior. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

UFV developing e-learning course on Abbotsford homelessness issues

Many Ways to Home won’t offer credits, but is billed as more of a professional development course

City of Abbotsford bylaw officers work down at the Gladys Ave. homeless camp in August, speaking with people still at the site, where B.C. Hydro crews cleared the campsite just weeks prior. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Chilliwack homeless camp dismantled on Monday

Chilliwack homeless camp dismantled on Monday

Mostly co-operative group emerged from the woods with possessions and dispersed

Chilliwack homeless camp dismantled on Monday
Abbotsford homeless village concept still alive, organizers say

Abbotsford homeless village concept still alive, organizers say

Proposal to build 40 small cabins for homeless men and women still before city

Abbotsford homeless village concept still alive, organizers say