Although the number of homeless rose during the last homeless count

Maple Ridge shelter reduces cold weather beds

Are there fewer homeless, causing drop in demand for emergency shelter at the Salvation Army Caring Place in Maple Ridge

The Salvation Army shelter in Maple Ridge has reduced the number of emergency shelter beds it offers this winter by half.

The Caring Place will only have 15 cold-wet weather spaces available until the end of March, in addition to the existing 25 beds it has year-round.

The reduction isn’t prompted by a cut in funding, but a drop in demand.

“Because of the numbers over the years, we’ve actually felt the need to reduce the beds we would need this year,” said executive director Darrell Pilgrim.

“We’ve always offered 30 beds, but very rarely do we go up over 20 beds needed every night.”

Pilgrim said it’s difficult to pinpoint why  demand has dropped since the people who use the Sally Ann’s services are transient.

“We do want to believe it is because people have found appropriate housing,” he said.

“It’s great to see. There is still demand and need, but we believe the numbers of actual people looking for shelter every night has reduced.”

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were the only municipalities in Metro Vancouver, though, where the number of people without a roof over their heads increased during the 2011 Greater Vancouver Homeless Count, a survey conducted every three years.

One hundred and two people were found homeless in March 2011. That was up from 90 in 2008.

Of the 102 – 40 were housed in emergency shelter facilities, while one person was listed as having no fixed address.

The municipalities were the only place in Metro Vancouver where the number of street homeless also rose – to 61 from 40.

The Caring Place still serves more than 600 different people monthly and overall demand for services, such as meals, is not dropping.

“There are still people looking for assistance. The people living in poverty, however is actually increasing,” Pilgrim added.

“I always say I wish I could close my doors. I wish we didn’t need to exist.”

 

Winter needs

The Caring Place is in dire need for new socks and underwear for men and women, as well as shampoo.

Their school bagged lunch program, which serves 110 students at 12 schools, needs luncheon meat and healthy snacks.

• To donate call 463-8296.

 

Red kettles

Kettle season starts next Friday, Nov. 16. Lots of volunteers are needed for a two-hour shifts. To volunteer, call Amy at 604-463-8296 x 104 or email bellringer@caringplace.ca.

 

Just Posted

Looking Back: The tie that binds

CP Rail’s growth took off in 1914, when double tracking of the line through the area was completed.

Twin trees topple on to Maple Ridge home

Roof though mostly intact on house in Fern Crescent area

On Cooking: Setting the mood, and table at home

Your thoughtfulness is the most meaningful ingredient.

Untrending: More wisdom from the inbox

‘The death of long-form writing.’

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read