News

VIDEO UPDATE: Council announces task force on homelessness

Abbotsford has struck a homelessness task force, announced on Thursday, after months of ongoing discussions about how to deal with the city's homeless residents.

The task force will operate as a committee of council and will be co-chaired by long-time Abbotsford Couns. Patricia Ross and John Smith.

Mayor Bruce Banman said it will work with all levels in the community and conduct engagement activities to "ensure they capture all perspectives and all voices.

“They will be the forum through which the community discusses the issue of homelessness in the City of Abbotsford.”

The task force will include Jim Burkinshaw, volunteer co-ordinator for the Abbotsford Christian Leadership Network; Darin Froese executive director Lower Mainland Non-Profit for BC Housing; Stan Kuperis, Fraser Health Authority's (FHA) director of clinic programs, mental health and substance use; Lawrence Loh, medical health officer at FHA overseeing a regional portfolio including mental health, substance use and homelessness; Karen Matty, president of Matsqui Development Co. Ltd.; Dave Murray, director of the Abbotsford Food Bank; Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich; Dr. Ron van Wyk, associate executive director at the Mennonite Central Committee British Columbia; and Mike Welte, president of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

The task force co-ordinator will be Cherie Enns, a University of the Fraser Valley associate professor who also works in social planning.

Jake Rudolph, the deputy city manager, will serve as community staff liaison.

The first meeting of the task force will take place in early April.

Coun. Henry Braun, who will not sit on the task force, said that, as it is a council committee, he still plans to attend meetings to listen, stay informed and ask questions.

“I think this is the single-most important thing right now that our community is looking at.”

He said his one concern is that there is no one on the task force from the homeless community who can provide insight.

“I’ve engaged the homeless community at different levels … they have something to say to us.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Icy 16 Avenue closed after dump truck crash
 
Plywood homeless cabins dismantled by city
 
Homeless housing rezoning will move to public hearing
B.C. Muslim Association speaks out on gunman
 
Liberal candidate calls for jet fuel pipeline moratorium
 
Candidates make pitch to voters in Richmond
Two man buggy already helping Agassiz RCMP
 
Generator stolen from fishing village near Agassiz
 
New mayor sworn in at Kent inaugural meeting

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.