‘Respectful’ gathering at city shelter

Grover Telford has questions and concerns about the temporary homeless shelter at 22239 Lougheed Hwy.

Grover Telford has questions and concerns about the temporary homeless shelter at 22239 Lougheed Highway.

What are the goals of the shelter? How many people are being transferred into treatment? What is the success rate of treatment?

To draw attention to his quest for knowledge, the former Maple Ridge council candidate is organizing the On Site Community Expression of Concern this Saturday, at 11 a.m., across the street from the shelter.

“Please note that it is a respectful and peaceful gathering,” Telford said on the Facebook group Protecting Maple Ridge.

“We’re going to plant ourselves across the street from the shelter,” he added later.

The intent is not to provoke or confront anyone, just to make the point that people still have questions.

“Whether you agree with the shelter or not, it was kind of dumped on the business area.”

Politicians talk about transparency, but Telford questions how much transparency occurred when the shelter’s location was announced this past summer.

Maple Ridge council made a decision on a location in a closed meeting and because rezoning wasn’t required, a public meeting wasn’t needed.

The shelter closes on March 31, but Telford is concerned about the selection process for any permanent shelter that may follow.

Matt Kelso has several questions about the shelter that he wants answered, as well.

He met with Rain City Housing staff Nov. 4, but still hasn’t received detailed replies to a list of questions.

He was told that people can inject drugs on site, providing they follow the “buddy system,” in which two users watch each other, to ensure neither overdoses.

He’s questioning the effectiveness of the shelter, saying that people are not being encouraged to kick their habits.

“So someone can stay there for six months, don’t take advantage of any of the programs, stay on drugs the whole time, use everyday till it closes. Are they still allowed to stay? They said yes.”

Rain City pointed that out in a fact sheet when the shelter opened Oct. 1.

“Abstinence is not a requirement for staying at the shelter, but is one of many possible positive outcomes that will occur for folks staying at the shelter,” said the fact sheet.

It follows the Housing First program, in which people are first found homes, then helped to deal with whatever issues they have, rather than insisting on abstinence as a condition of getting housed.

Kelso was also told that staff don’t know how many people with criminal records are staying at the shelter and that there’s only one counsellor there once a week.

Kelso expects to receive a response from the shelter operators soon to all his questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

MacDuff’s Call: A fond memory, of an old-school teacher

A new year starts in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Flames lose first game of new season

Maple Ridge junior Bs host White Rock Whalers Friday night

Maple Ridge Bears group hosts public forum Monday

Critical time to keep bears away from human conflict

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

Most Read