Chilliwack Housing for Homeless Foundation ready to go

The goal is to build the inventory of affordable housing in Chilliwack — for the homeless or those at risk.

The goal is to build the inventory of affordable housing in Chilliwack — for the homeless or those at risk.

Chilliwack Housing for Homeless Foundation is ready to go, formed by a board of real estate and construction professionals who estimate they can house someone in need for as little as $35,000.

“There’s very little if any overhead, which will allow us to provide housing to various community groups at affordable prices,” said Alex MacDonald of Remax Reality who made a presentation to council in chambers Tuesday.

They won’t provide any services, just residential properties that they will purchase, fix up, and then turn over to community groups to administer.

That’s why when a donation is made to them, “it goes right into bricks and mortar,” he underlined.

It became crystallized that it was a serious issue needing attention when he was confronted with people sleeping a cardboard container in a building that he owned.

“It became clear, as it has to the community, that it’s not the province’s or the federal government’s problem, but everyone’s problem,” he said.

It took the foundation some time to come to fruition, and get the necessary approvals.

“But we’ve met all the criteria and we’re here now.”

They purchased a unit in the spring of last year to get started. They have some assets in the bank.

Over time they want to build equity and end up like the Chilliwack Foundation with millions in assets, to become a player on the Chilliwack scene “to help,” he said.

MacDonald presented the cold stats: More men than women are homeless. Most have mental health issues, and/or addictions.

In 2008 there were 98 people homeless according to a homeless count done Fraser Valley wide, and that number rose to 111 in 2011. Those numbers never include couch-surfers or anyone who lives in their car.

“It’s an exciting time, going forward as we take it to the next level,” he told council.

Coun. Stam thanked him for the “Herculean task” of pulling together the foundation at the side of their desks, and said he’d support it any way they could.

“Seeing a group of people come together and act on a need is truly appreciated,” he said. “Affordable housing is the missing piece at the end of that continuum of care, since without a home, they’re right back to square one and it’s a vicious cycle.”

Mayor Sharon Gaetz noted that there was a need in the community, and they didn’t wait for someone else to pick up the slack.

“You said, someone can do it. Here I am,” she added.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

 

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs rally falls one short in loss to Langley

The Rivermen jumped out to a 4 goal lead then hung on for a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Prevailing in the face of adversity

Chilliwack pilot living life to fullest will speak at UFV Oct. 23

UPDATE w/ VIDEO: Chilliwack homeless camp given eviction notice

Inside the camp that will be removed by Monday RCMP according to trespass notice

Missing Chilliwack teen found ‘safe and sound’

Boy found just as mother was organizing search

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Are you ready for storm season?

BC Hydro offers tips on preparing for the storm season

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Most Read