Christina Shearmeis the community network coordinator for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network. (Special to The News)

Christina Shearmeis the community network coordinator for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network. (Special to The News)

NETWORKING: Community given glimpse into new street outreach services

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network hears from CSO Chad Cowles and STORM

by Christina Shearme/Special to The News

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network meets monthly to connect the hard-working agencies and services in our community.

At our meetings, we have to opportunity to learn about the projects that are going on. The group invites a wide range of community groups and services to present and share ideas that strengthen our communities.

This fall, we were introduced to the new City of Maple Ridge project called the community social safety initiative, as well as the wonderful work being done by the Ridge Meadows Community Action Table.

This article highlights the valuable information sharing that takes place during community network meetings, with no intention to show preference to any program or service.

During our September meeting, we were introduced to Chad Cowles, who joined the community social safety initiatives as manager in February, where he leads a team of community safety officers who seek to redefine how the bylaw department engages with the vulnerable sector while supporting citizens and the business community.

If you would like to learn more about this City of Maple Ridge initiative, please visit their website, and consider watching a brief video explaining more.

The network also continued to learn about the work being done by Ridge Meadows Community Action Table, also known as STORM (Stop Overdose Ridge Meadows).

This table has provided access to harm reduction and they work as a connection point to community supports and services as needed.

Recently they have been able to increase access to nutritious food for those experiencing food security issues.

The STORM team recently added a peer navigator position, allowing for more boots on the ground and additional peer support for the community.

STORM works to increase compassion and decrease stigma as it pertains to the opioid crisis. The food security projects were identified and created due to COVID-19.

Fortunately, their funders allowed this shift in the work to support gaps as they came up.

Through this initiative, 90 brown bag lunches, as well as harm reduction and outreach, are being provided weekly out of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m.

On Friday nights, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., 75 takeaway community meals are served from the STORM van on 224th Street and the Golden Ears church.

The STORM table can be found on Facebook and Instagram @stopoverdoserm.

Every month the community network meetings provide the opportunity to hear from many individuals doing the work in our community that is making a difference.

If you are interested in joining our community meetings please contact the community network at to learn how you can get involved.

– Christina Shearme is the coordinator for Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network



• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

crimemaple ridgeoverdosePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two people were sent to hospital after a fire was discovered in a north Pitt Meadows home just before the lunch hour on Sunday, (Nov. 29, 2020). (Shane MacKichan/Special to The News)
Couple burned fighting fire in their Pitt Meadows house

Two occupants were transported to hospital while firefighters battle a blaze in a Harris Road home

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Supt. Jennifer Hyland is the officer in charge of the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment. (The News/files)
Ridge Meadows RCMP release new strategic plan

Plan details what the force will be focused on for the next three years

The new business park at 12835 Lilley Drive in East Maple Ridge has five live/work units on site. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Maple Ridge’s newest business park tries to set itself apart from competition

More live-work units, green features make it more than a concrete box, developer says

There were 114 homeless people counted in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as part of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count in March. (The News/files)
More than 100 homeless counted in March snapshot across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Metro Vancouver Homeless Count has been taking place since 2002

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read