Christina Shearme is the coordinator for Community Network. (Special to The News)

Christina Shearme is the coordinator for Community Network. (Special to The News)

COMMUNITY NETWORK: Coming together in a time of crisis

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and the Katzie First Nation show just how resilient they are amid COVID

ByChristina Shearme/Special to The News

The unexpectedness of COVID-19 required service providers in Ridge Meadows to make unprecedented decisions in a very short period of time.

In an industry driven by client service and face-to-face support and care, organizations in our community moved quickly to ensure that the public was safe and that their staff were supported through their transition to working from home.

The first weeks of COVD-19 were filled with tech set up, planning meetings, and everyone learning new ways to connect virtually.

It was during these first weeks that our community really showed their grit.

Despite an atmosphere of unknowing, the leaders of our community non-profit organizations showed what they were made of and fearlessly lead their teams through the unknown. Their priority was clear; to find new ways to keep services open and support a worried public in a safe way.

In the following weeks of COVID service, providers met virtually to share helpful resources and work together to identify the gaps in our community, such as seniors unable to get groceries, or pick up their prescriptions, community members with food security issues, and a parent population facing endless time at home with limited options for their children, and an increase in potential domestic conflict.

Our community has an amazing ability to connect.

So many who belong to the numerous helping tables in our community, such as Ridge Meadows Community Children’s Table, STORM (Stop Overdose Ridge Meadows), EVIR (Ending Violence in Relationships), Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Community Network and more, have been meeting monthly for years.

It was natural for these groups to lean into these connections at a time of uncertainty and pull together for strength.

During the weeks we received emails from more than 100+ community members who wanted to volunteer to help other community members, and countless valuable connections were made.

Each non-profit organization has created wide ranges of virtual programming, supports, and services. They have worked to respond to the needs of our communities with innovation and creativity.

PAST COLUMN: Weekend wellness event connects Indigenous with resources

If you or anyone you know is needing support, reach out, call, email, or google, the supports are available in our community.

The Community Network is service providers, not-for-profit agencies, governments, businesses, and community members coming together to build a stronger community in the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Katzie communities.

Our mission is to provide direction to the development of continuous, cohesive, and responsive social services for the communities of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Katzie.

Provide opportunities and supports for residents to build their capacities to live healthy lives as contributing members of the community.

Check out Pathways community resource directory for all the latest resources.

For more information about the Community Network, please visit or email the Coordinator of The Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network at

– Christina Shearme is the coordinator of the Community Network