Another Rally for Ridge takes place Sunday after one in March. (THE NEWS/files)

Two rallies on homelessness, Sunday in Maple Ridge

No confrontation desired, says organizer of Homes Not Hate rally

While a second Rally for Ridge protest against supportive housing on Burnett Street takes place Sunday at Memorial Peace Park in downtown Maple Ridge, another group will be gathering a few blocks away, at the same time, calling for more such facilities.

Both start at 1 p.m.

About 400 Maple Ridge residents attended the first Rally for Ridge event at the end of last month.

“We are wanting to show the province that Maple Ridge does not want any more low-barrier facilities,” reads a Facebook post for Sunday’s event.

“We support our mayor and council and the goal of Maple Ridge being a safe community. We support treatment, not enabling.”

The other event, called “Homes Not Hate,” takes place at Anita Place Tent City on 223rd Street. It is being organized by the Alliance Against Displacement.

Ivan Drury, with the Alliance, said the gathering is intended to offer a different perspective to the positions offered at the Rally for Ridge.

“We’re countering the political message that homeless people are second class and they should be driven out of Maple Ridge,” Drury said.

The participants, he added, will be remaining at tent city and won’t go to the park and do not want an altercation. They want housing for people in need.

“If you’re against building housing for homeless people, then you’re in favour of maintaining homelessness,” he added.

The Alliance is also seeking volunteers to help drive people from Vancouver for the rally.

B.C. Housing recently announced construction of 51 temporary supportive housing units, with support services, intended for residents of Anita Place, with construction starting in a few weeks, at 11749 Burnett St.

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