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220 new shelter spaces announced for Abbotsford

Province and city also partner for two more supportive housing buildings
The Lighthouse Shelter in the former Red Lion Inn on Pauline Street in Abbotsford will get 22 shelter spaces – among 220 announced Friday (April 26) for the community. (Jessica Peters/Abbotsford News)

The province and the City of Abbotsford have announced 220 new shelter spaces in the community for people experiencing homelessness.

A memorandum of understanding was signed Friday (April 26) between the two parties that includes 111 temporary shelter spaces:

• 59 at the Sumas Shelter in the former Travelodge at 1821 Sumas Way,

• 22 at the Lighthouse Shelter in the former Red Lion Inn on Pauline Street, and

• 30 spaces for a proposed shelter at 2539 Montvue Ave.

As well, there will be 50 beds at the shelter on Lonzo Road to replace the existing 40-bed shelter on Riverside Road and 60 units in a permanent supportive home for men at 31246 King Rd.

RELATED: Plans move to next stage for 61-unit supportive-housing project in Abbotsford

Lookout Housing and Health Society will operate the Sumas, Lighthouse and Lonzo shelters.

Archway Community Services will operate the proposed shelter on Montvue Avenue.

Kinghaven Peardonville House Society is operating the Bob Sutton Centre on King Road, an expansion to programs it has been running for 50 years.

A press release states that the Lighthouse Shelter will provide interim housing for people who have been staying in shelters long term and will free up spaces for people sheltering outdoors.

The shelter spaces are being funded through BC Housing’s HEARTH (Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing) program.

Increased support to people currently living in encampments is being provided through the HEART (Homeless Encampment Action Response Team) program.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said homelessness is a problem that affects everyone.

RELATED: Lonzo Road encampment in Abbotsford to be cleared out and new shelter built

“The province and Abbotsford are working together to implement these programs and make a significant difference. Together, we will help more people with personalized supports that allow them to stabilize their lives, transition back into housing and improve the overall health of the community,” he said.

Mayor Ross Siemens said the additional shelter spaces help meet the needs of “the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis said the additional spaces and support are an “important step to reducing homelessness in our community.”

“Abbotsford is a community that looks after its own and these more than 220 shelter spaces for those who are experiencing housing insecurity will be a tremendous help for people who need them,” she said.

RELATED: Emergency shelter to stay after Abbotsford council reverses prior decision

Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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