Attila Devasarhelyi said people appreciate the daily lunches. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Daily lunch delivered to Maple Ridge tent city

Number has increased from 50 to 80

In addition to a warming tent and washrooms at Anita Place Tent City, B.C. Housing is also providing daily lunch to the 80 or so residents at the homeless camp on 223rd Street.

The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries prepares the lunches, which are delivered by outreach workers with Alouette Addiction Services.

It’s something that’s much appreciated, said a Rick, a tent city resident.

Without a daily meal, people would be worse off than they are, he added.

“It’s great that they bring it down here every day and we appreciate they do that,” said Attila Devasarhelyi.

He’s the new spokesperson for the camp, which he says now has a population of about 100.

The Salvation Army has been preparing the meals, which are delivered by outreach workers at Alouette Addictions Services. Up until April, only 50 lunches were delivered. Now, 80 lunches, either a hot meal or sandwiches, are provided every day.

“There’s a lot more people here now,” said Devasarhelyi.

He’s been living at the camp for two months, but had been living in the bush around Maple Ridge before that.

“My goal is the same as everybody’s – is to find housing.”

Many are just a paycheque away from being homeless, he added.

“If you were thrown out with just the backpack on … what is your next move?”

He’s looking forward to the modular project currently underway on Royal Crescent, where 55 units are to open next September.

He’s already been interviewed for one of the spots and wants to take on a maintenance job at the site, he added.

He’d also like to improve relations between the tent city and the rest of the community. Perhaps camp residents could do temporary or daily work, he added.

“We’re happy to provide them a nutritious meal to eat,” said Darrell Pilgrim, executive-director with the Salvation Army.

He said the Salvation Army, together with the new intensive case management team, continues to find people housing, aided by shelter allowances that help cover the cost of rent.

The ICM team supports people so they can stay in their homes.

But as people find homes, more people become homeless, mainly because of the high cost of rent and housing, Pilgrim said.

Ivan Drury, with the Alliance Against Displacement, which helped organize the camp, said there are about 80 people staying at the camp, some since it opened a year ago. Others come and go.

He said 62 ballots were returned last week when the camp elected its nine-person council.

Just Posted

Ryder kicks off third annual rainboot campaign in Maple Ridge

The Kanaka Creek elementary student is raising money to buy rainboots for the homeless this winter

Lots of people want on Maple Ridge council

And five want to be mayor of B.C.’s fifth largest city

VIDEO: Maple Ridge daycare closed after flood waters pour inside

Effects of Friday’s downpour will be felt for months

Tornado reported near Hayward Lake in Mission

Environment Canada investigates, says a ‘possible’ tornado took place

Looking Back: Culture Days at Pitt Meadows Museum

Take a look at “3D Through the Ages.”

VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city residents back after flash flood Friday

Mayor though says they shouldn’t have to go back

Researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada

Information will be used to learn more about where white sharks move in Canadian waters

Mix-up of bodies leads to funeral home reforms in Nova Scotia

One woman was was mistakenly cremated, another was embalmed and presented to family members during a visitation that went horribly wrong

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Cyclists finish North America trip to highlight Ukraine struggle

The 10,000 bike ride raised over $10,000 for victims of the war in Ukraine.

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Most Read