The new modular shelter buildings were hoisted into place in Chilliwack to house the homeless at the Salvation Army site on Yale Road.
“We are very excited about this modular development and how it will increase our capacity,” said Tim Bohr, Sally Ann’s community ministries director.
The interim modular option is going ahead “because the need is so high,” Bohr said, when the project was first discussed at city hall about six months ago. The plan is to keep the soup kitchen space in reserve to be made available in the case of extreme winter weather events.
“The City would like to see everyone in our community given the opportunity to be housed and this new modular shelter at the Salvation Army brings our community one step closer to that goal,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.
She said thanks go to BC Housing and the Salvation Army for making these new pre-fab modular units possible in Chilliwack at the Sally Ann site.
“This is a positive step and we look forward to continuing to work with Chilliwack service providers and all levels of government to address the needs of the most vulnerable in our community,” Gaetz said.
City of Chilliwack offered support by way of CDI funding and waiving Development Cost Charges.
“One thing that is especially sweet about this project is that it will provide a place for people who participate in the shelter program to stay during the day. This will increase the opportunity for outreach and the Salvation Army staff will be able to connect more people with the services they need,” the mayor said.
It will operate as a low-barrier facility for shelter program participants, which means there is no pre-entry requirement of sobriety, only that they not be any kind of threat to themselves or others, and no drug use inside.
“We are pleased that the Salvation Army is able to use their existing shelter to create a secure shelter for up to 11 women and, that after the modular shelter is up and running, they will retain the 30 emergency cots in their kitchen for extreme weather, as determined by BC Housing.”