Before the rezoning process begins for the housing complex and homeless shelter proposed for 21375 Lougheed Hwy., people can get up to speed on the topic by attending four community dialogues on homelessness that the city has scheduled for October.
Maple Ridge city announced the dates for the four sessions last week, and has since made some changes.
They’ll be Oct. 20, 26, Nov. 3 and 9 in the Arts Centre Theatre.
The intent is to inform the public about the issue by having a keynote speaker and a panel of experts at each of the dialogues, or meetings.
“I just want to be clear about that … that is what the sessions are for, to raise the awareness level,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.
Initially, according to a staff report from Sept. 19, the event would have taken place in the smaller Genstar theatre in the ACT. But that has now changed and the main theatre will be the venue, with seating for 500. As well, pre-registration won’t be required. For those who can’t make it, the meetings will be livestreamed.
Council also will invite a limited number of politicians from other cities.
“We want this to really inform people on the issues,” said Coun. Bob Masse.
The first of the four dialogues is titled W5: The Who, What, When, Where and How of Homelessness.
The second dialogue is called Jurisdictional Matters: Challenges and Opportunities, and will discuss legal issues.
Understanding Mental Health and Addictions is the topic of the third and Housing Solutions is the fourth.
The meetings will precede the rezoning application around the property at 21375 Lougheed Hwy. that is being proposed as a housing complex and homeless shelter.
That process will entail B.C. Housing following the normal rezoning which involves a developer’s information meeting followed by four readings of the bylaw amendment, including a public hearing.
The organizing committee is still formalizing guest speakers so more details are to follow.