Downtown Chilliwack shelter expansion moves forward

Donation from Rotary club allows Ruth and Naomi's to build secure rooms for men and women

Crews shovel concrete into forms to build walls around a section of Ruth and Naomi's Mission on Wednesday. Members from the Rotary Club of Chilliwack Fraser presented Bill Raddatz

Crews shovel concrete into forms to build walls around a section of Ruth and Naomi's Mission on Wednesday. Members from the Rotary Club of Chilliwack Fraser presented Bill Raddatz

There will be more beds available for Chilliwack’s homeless soon, thanks to a hefty donation by a local organization.

This week, the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club passed over a cheque for $73,000 to help Ruth and Naomi’s expand their shelter. The covered vestibule at the entrance to the building was only being used as a smoking area. With a little planning, and the donation from the Rotary, that area is now being closed in to become new sleeping quarters for the homeless.

One room will house beds for 12 men, another will hold four beds for women, and there will be two more office areas and a lounge incorporated into the plan.

Currently, there is room for about 14 people in the shelter overnight. However, the beds are stored away in a bathroom during the day and rolled out in the evening.

Those using the shelter arrive at 9 p.m., get something to eat and hit the showers. They’re clothes are washed for them, and they get a warm sleep with a breakfast in the morning.

The new area being built will mean they can house more people, and can do so without needing to rearrange furniture every night and morning to accommodate them.

“This will be a very efficient use of space,” said Bill Raddatz, executive director of Ruth and Naomi’s. As Raddatz met with the Rotary directors on Tuesday afternoon, a concrete truck whirred away and workers built the forms for the new walls.

It’s just another step toward building a better shelter, Raddatz said. Later this year, they hope to make renovations inside the building to allow for more offices. Eventually, they would be spaces for counseling and medical services.

Gary Armstrong, president of the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary, said the club saw a great need in the community for more shelter space.

“There’s a real need here,” he said, with many people “getting lost through the cracks of the system.

“There has been a lot of cooperation between agencies and this is just another way of helping out.”

The project will cost Ruth and Naomi’s about $120,000.





Just Posted

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

Crews work on the construction of Stitó:s Lá:lém Totí:lt near the Vedder River on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack School District shuffling catchment areas as Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt construction continues

SD33 is looking for public input about proposed catchment and feeder school options

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read