Temporary modular shelter on track to open in Chilliwack in the new year. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Modular shelter opening delayed a few months in Chilliwack

Flexible modular design by Chilliwack could become a model for other communities

Housing First is definitely coming to Chilliwack. But the initial project has hit a bump in the road.

Chilliwack’s first low-barrier shelter in the form of a temporary modular structure is set to open in the new year, likely February, not this fall, from the parking lot of the Salvation Army property on Yale Road.

It will house 46 people once it’s up and running

“We acknowledge it’s not enough, but are encouraged that we’re heading in the right direction,” said Tim Bohr, Community Ministries Director for Salvation Army of Chilliwack.

The 46 units coming to the Sally Ann in the temporary shelter, are added to the 80 new units under construction by MQHS behind the Canton Gardens, and another 36 units by Ruth and Naomi’s Mission for their new Family Centre.

READ MORE: Homeless spike in 2017

The exact opening date of the temporary modular shelter is not clear. The slight delay is due to increased demand for portables being faced by the production crews at Britco Structures.

But the real story of the new shelter design will be the flexibility, Bohr said.

They’ll be able to offer a larger unit for a homeless couple to stay together, or possibly for someone who is transgendered, for example, Bohr said, which is a “vulnerable” demographic on the streets.

There are plans in the modular design for a first-aid room, a kennel space for pets, day space, and a kitchenette.

“The model we’ve created here is being considered for use in a number of other communities,” Bohr noted.

READ MORE: Homeless camp emptied

With the Temporary Use Permit granted by city council earlier this year for the modular structure, they have three years to initiate construction on the new, permanent shelter building, which is in the planning stages.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz said the low-barrier shelter will provide a temporary solution. Chilliwack is partnering with Sally Ann, and BC Housing on the project.

“People need secure housing and we have a plan,” she said.

“It’s less expensive for government to invest then throwing money at it on an emergency basis.”

“We want everyone to have the opportunity of safe shelter.”

Mayor Gaetz acknowledged the cooperation and considerable effort by BC Housing to get the project underway “really quickly.”

The modular concept provides an “interim fix” for cities inundated with people on the streets, and it’s been rolled out in Abbotsford, and increasingly elsewhere across B.C.

READ MORE: BC goes modular


 

@chwkjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A member of a homeless camp near the Evans Roundabout in Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Union files human rights complaint over Chilliwack school trustee’s LGBTQ comments

Board and trustee Barry Neufled facing $50,000 tribunal charge over alleged ‘unsafe work environment’

Pipeline routing through Chilliwack subject of NEB hearing Monday

City of Chilliwack, WaterWealth Project and local Sto:lo intervenors in the hearing

Chilliwack curler qualifies for 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Naomi Britz will travel to Kamloops next month to curl for Ashley Mallett’s rink.

Chilliwack truck driver killed in Alberta semi truck crash

Young driver was adjusting load on side of highway to Fort McMurray

Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

20-year-old’s body found on a rural service road North of Hope in April

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

VIDEO: Southern schemes on stage in Langley

The farce of “The Foreigner”

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Most Read