The former home of the Chilliwack Times on Trethewey Avenue is becoming a temporary Wellness Centre. (Google Maps photo)

The former home of the Chilliwack Times on Trethewey Avenue is becoming a temporary Wellness Centre. (Google Maps photo)

City of Chilliwack increasing winter shelter space

A daytime Wellness Centre and two night-time shelters are coming online as the weather gets colder

With cold weather settling in, the City of Chilliwack is providing more shelter space for homeless people.

The Wellness Centre will open on a temporary basis at 45951 Trethewey. During daytime hours it will provide a culturally-safe, trauma-informed space with wrap around supports.

The City received one-time funding through the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ Strengthening Communities Program, Reaching Home, Fraser Health, and BC Housing.

It will be operated by the Pacific Community Resources Society.

Chilliwack City Council met Nov. 9 and paved the way for the Wellness Centre to operate with a temporary lease.

“In order to help get everyone through the winter safely, council resolved to not enforce zoning bylaws in this location for six months,” said Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove. “We hope that BC Housing and Fraser Health will look into long term solutions for a daytime Wellness Centre in our community in the near future.”

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Two night-time shelters are also coming on line to supplement the 15 beds currently available at Ruth and Naomi’s (RAN) Mission, which has been operating over capacity. RAN has been working on a solution to make sure people are not turned away from overnight shelter because of space limitations.

A temporary 20-plus bed shelter area will open a stone’s throw away from RAN at 46146 Margaret Avenue, subject to a building inspection ruling out any safety concerns.

RAN is working with Cheam View United Church to provide another 20 to 25 beds at 45835 Spadina Ave, but this site will only be used during extreme weather periods.

“People experience homelessness for a variety of different reasons, and we know that many people are currently struggling during these tough times,” Popove said. “In order to help individuals on their journey to health and wellness, it is important to help meet their basic need for shelter, especially during cold and wet winter weather.”

To learn more about the City of Chilliwack’s Community Safety Plan, visit chilliwack.com/CommunitySafety.

To learn more about the City’s Homelessness Action Plan, visit chilliwack.com/homelessness.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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