Re: Homeless on the rise in Chilliwack (Progress Jan. 8)
I appreciated Claire Woyke’s letter highlighting the needs of homeless individuals and families living in Chilliwack. This is a growing issue within our community and one that requires ongoing awareness and community action. Her data, though, incorrectly stated that 21.4 percent of people living in Chilliwack are homeless. Regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, she rightly acknowledged the fine work of the Salvation Army providing food services and shelter beds to address some of the burgeoning needs of homelessness and poverty in our city.
However, it needs to be added that Ruth & Naomi’s Mission in downtown Chilliwack provides 14 emergency shelter beds each night, a helpful open day program, an evening supper meal that serves up to 150 people 365 days per year, and a 26-bed supportive housing complex for people struggling with homeless, addictions and other stressful life issues. With the help of our caring community partners and professional staff, the Mission has been able to help transition people successfully back into the community. As we continue to partner with individuals, organizations, churches and other service providers, together, we are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people living downtown. We’re also excited about our future plans to broaden and expand our services to bring continuing hope and freedom to those trapped in cycles of poverty and addiction.
Dr. John A. Gray
Step-Up Program Director
Ruth & Naomi’s Mission