A small protest was held on Oct. 1 to oppose the three-year shelter extension for the The Portal as school kids pass by on Yale Road. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Chilliwack school trustee opposes downtown homeless shelter location

Board to decide at special meeting Wednesday on Darrell Furgason’s motion to send letter to city hall

A Chilliwack Board of Education trustee wants to send a letter to city hall to ask the city to deny an extension of the permit for The Portal homeless shelter on Yale Road.

A special regular board meeting has been called for Oct. 9 to decide on a resolution put forth by Trustee Darrell Furgason about The Portal, which is near two schools.

The motion put forth in the staff report is: “That the Board of Education send a letter to Chilliwack City Council requesting that the City not extend The Portal for three additional years and asking that The Portal be relocated for the safety of Chilliwack students.”

The move by Furgason is likely in response to a recent petition and protest from residents who say the homeless facility is too close to Chilliwack Middle School (CMS) and Chilliwack Secondary School (CSS).

• READ MORE: Parental frustration about Chilliwack homeless shelter boils over with petition

“Although we understand there is a need for homeless shelters and warming shelters in Chilliwack this is not the right location for it,” reads the preamble of the petition.

Bill Raddatz, executive director of Ruth & Naomi’s Mission, said the location was important because it was so close to the need. He added that the area was much worse before the shelter opened.

Raddatz also pointed to the successes The Portal has seen, which includes leading to 60 people getting in to housing and 29 entering addictions treatment. He added that the school district superintendent confirmed there were no registered complaints.

Those against The Portal say it is just too close to CMS and CSS.

On Oct. 1, a handful of people held signs on Yale Road East near the schools in protest of the location, urging city council to not renew the three-year temporary use permit.

At the same time, some homeless individuals set up a table in front of The Portal in counter-protest with signs that said things like, “We are people too” and “Housing is a human right.”

• READ MORE: Protesters against shelter location say that addictions and schools don’t mix

The Chilliwack school board will decide on Furgason’s motion at the special regular public board meeting on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m.

– with files from Jennifer Feinberg


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Shelter access moving to the side of the building in Chilliwack on the heels of complaints

Renos to The Portal will see new bunk beds, indoor washrooms and a review of security and cleaniness

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Rotarians digging in for new tree planting project

Trees will be a way to honour loved ones through Chilliwack

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

UFV bans cash after accepting 17 payments over $10k last year

Ban on cash payments follows report warning of potential money laundering through universities

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Most Read