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Rally planned for Monday to show solidarity with Abbotsford's homeless

A rally is planned for Monday at city hall, inviting community members to show solidarity with Abbotsford's homeless.

Ward Draper, a pastor with 5 and 2 Ministries and advocate for the homeless, is assisting in organizing the event. He said the rally comes after city council denied a rezoning proposal to allow Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) to build a 20-men housing facility for homeless men or men at risk of homelessness.

He said the event is not organized by ACS, but by community members who supported the proposal, which was defeated on a tie vote at Monday's council meeting.

He said the one-hour get-together, scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24 at noon, is a free-flowing event designed to allow community members to show the city that they want action in addressing issues of homelessness.

Draper said that despite a high level of community support for the project, with many speaking in favour of the proposal at a public hearing, the project failed. But though the ACS facility will not move foward, Draper said the city needs to do something to help its most vulnerable citizens.

"These problems aren't going away."

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