Housing and Homelessness

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

 

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)

‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

 

From left, Paige Van Klei, Alyssa Vlaanderen and Les Talvio stand in the living room of one of the two-bedroom units at The Switchback, a supportive housing building for youth on Dec. 18, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Vulnerable Chilliwack youth now have a place to call home, four days before Christmas

The first residents of The Switchback supportive housing for youth move in on Monday

 

Number of emergency shelter spaces grew across the Fraser Valley

Number of emergency shelter spaces grew across the Fraser Valley

FVRD 2020 Homeless Count shows Chilliwack has most shelter units, while Abbotsford’s number dipped

Number of emergency shelter spaces grew across the Fraser Valley
A rise of misconduct at the Nelson and District Community Complex has put a stress on staff and patrons. Photo: Tyler Harper

10 people banned in two weeks from B.C. rec centre for drugs, squatting

Suspensions were for setting up sleeping bags in washrooms, theft, verbal abuse of staff, and more

A rise of misconduct at the Nelson and District Community Complex has put a stress on staff and patrons. Photo: Tyler Harper
The City of Abbotsford will be hosting a local forum on homelessness on June 20.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo

City of Abbotsford organizing renewed homelessness forum

Local forum in June to come after regional forum fell out due to snowy weather in February

The City of Abbotsford will be hosting a local forum on homelessness on June 20.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo
The second of two modular housing projects in Abbotsford, a 40-unit building going up at the site of the Elizabeth Fry Society is getting finishing touches, with tenants expected to move in in a few weeks.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford’s 2nd modular housing project expected to start tenanting next month

Site at Livingstone Avenue near Peardonville Road to support 40 units for women and children

The second of two modular housing projects in Abbotsford, a 40-unit building going up at the site of the Elizabeth Fry Society is getting finishing touches, with tenants expected to move in in a few weeks.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
The modular housing project on Riverside Road opened in mid-April. The project was a source of contention between the city and BC Housing, emails obtained by The News show. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Emails show BC Housing frustration with City of Abbotsford over modular housing

Housing authority butted heads over approval timelines and the term of lease for city-owned property

The modular housing project on Riverside Road opened in mid-April. The project was a source of contention between the city and BC Housing, emails obtained by The News show. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Residents of an encampment that has cropped up across Gladys Avenue from the Mennonite Central Committee tear down their setups after a visit from the Abbotsford Police Department.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

‘Strength comes in numbers’: Homeless camp slowly growing near Abbotsford MCC

Harvey Clause says homeless community low on places to safely rest their head, getting frustrated

Residents of an encampment that has cropped up across Gladys Avenue from the Mennonite Central Committee tear down their setups after a visit from the Abbotsford Police Department.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
The Abbotsford branch of the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction formerly had a policy of only letting a few people wait in its waiting room, even with many vacant chairs in the room. That left the remainder waiting outside, often in rain or snow.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford welfare waiting room left vacant while clients wait outside: advocate

Jesse Wegenast says the ministry branch has now changed its policy to allow people to wait inside

The Abbotsford branch of the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction formerly had a policy of only letting a few people wait in its waiting room, even with many vacant chairs in the room. That left the remainder waiting outside, often in rain or snow.                                Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Shane Williams, CEO of the Lookout Society, speaks at the opening event for Abbotsford’s first modular project on Riverside Road. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford modular housing named for shelter patron who died of overdose

Housing expected to open in the next two or three weeks on Riverside Road

Shane Williams, CEO of the Lookout Society, speaks at the opening event for Abbotsford’s first modular project on Riverside Road. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
The modular housing project on Riverside Road, expected to house upwards of 40 people, is slated to open for mid-April. Service provider Jesse Wegenast says he’s excited to see the project come online, as it will target specifically those living in shelters and on the streets. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Modular project will visibly reduce Abbotsford homelessness: advocate

Jesse Wegenast says project will have ‘single greatest’ impact on local homelessness to date

The modular housing project on Riverside Road, expected to house upwards of 40 people, is slated to open for mid-April. Service provider Jesse Wegenast says he’s excited to see the project come online, as it will target specifically those living in shelters and on the streets. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Business Engagement Ambassador Program member Steve Rouault tours Gladys Avenue to pick up trash as part of the BEAP program. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford homeless cleaning up the community

Cleanup is part of pilot program intended to improve relationships with local businesses

Business Engagement Ambassador Program member Steve Rouault tours Gladys Avenue to pick up trash as part of the BEAP program. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Mayor Henry Braun says the City of Abbotsford has made major strides in improving its relationship with the local homeless population over the past half-decade. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo

Abbotsford mayor ‘cautiously optimistic’ for federal homeless fund application

Designated community status would provide $1-3 million per year in funding to fight homelessness

Mayor Henry Braun says the City of Abbotsford has made major strides in improving its relationship with the local homeless population over the past half-decade. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo
Peggy Allen’s long driveway is the frontier between what is effectively ground zero for homelessness in Abbotsford and Allen’s home, where she faced years of conflict with the local homeless population. Allen has since had a change in paradigms that has led her to working with the homeless community to improve conditions on the streets. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Vigilante to volunteer: An Abbotsford woman’s change of heart on homelessness

Peggy Allen had 400 calls into police about homeless near her home. Now she’s fighting for them

Peggy Allen’s long driveway is the frontier between what is effectively ground zero for homelessness in Abbotsford and Allen’s home, where she faced years of conflict with the local homeless population. Allen has since had a change in paradigms that has led her to working with the homeless community to improve conditions on the streets. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Melissa Giles, director of programs for the Mennonite Central Committee, says the Fraser Valley Rent Assistance Program has sent a letter to the provincial government offering its years of experience as guidance for a $10-million rent bank being set up by the province. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Fraser Valley rent bank offers guidance as province plans $10M rent bank

Fraser Valley Rent Assistance Program has years of wisdom to offer provincial plan, official says

Melissa Giles, director of programs for the Mennonite Central Committee, says the Fraser Valley Rent Assistance Program has sent a letter to the provincial government offering its years of experience as guidance for a $10-million rent bank being set up by the province. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Harvey Clause, an Abbotsford homeless man and advocate, reflects on a few fatal overdoses over the past few weeks. Clause says grieving while homeless holds distinct challenges with little for privacy and little time to process grief. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Nowhere to grieve: Processing loss on Abbotsford’s streets

Homeless advocate Harvey Clause says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Harvey Clause, an Abbotsford homeless man and advocate, reflects on a few fatal overdoses over the past few weeks. Clause says grieving while homeless holds distinct challenges with little for privacy and little time to process grief. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News
Tensions mount over Abbotsford homeless camp removals amid cold snap

Tensions mount over Abbotsford homeless camp removals amid cold snap

City calls camp removals a safety issue, advocates say actions risk health and safety of homeless

Tensions mount over Abbotsford homeless camp removals amid cold snap
The City of Abbotsford will be hosting a regional forum on homelessness on Feb. 21. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo

City of Abbotsford to host regional homelessness forum

City will show off co-ordinated intake and referral pilot program, which is set to close in March

The City of Abbotsford will be hosting a regional forum on homelessness on Feb. 21. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo
Authorities work with homeless to clear a camp at a frequently occupied spot across the street from the Salvation Army on Gladys Avenue. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo

Death a reminder of vulnerability for Abbotsford homeless workers

Co-ordinated intake and referral program update notes a death and two hospitalizations in December

Authorities work with homeless to clear a camp at a frequently occupied spot across the street from the Salvation Army on Gladys Avenue. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo