Year in Review: Hope on homelessness as supportive housing opens

Year in Review: Hope on homelessness as supportive housing opens

A long-awaited project opened its doors

A major change came for Langley’s homeless residents when Creek Stone Place opened its doors at the end of October.

Formerly a Quality Inn in the 6400 block of 200th Street, the supportive housing project was controversial with neighbours and some community members objecting to the plan to move 49 people off the street.

The residents were moved in over a two-week period in late October and early November. It was far later than Stepping Stone Community Services had hopes to open the facility, originally planned for late spring.

“It’s so exciting,” Janet Burden, executive director of Stepping Stone said on the day move ins began. “It’s been two years since we first started talking about converting that building into supportive housing.”

Renovations took through much of the spring and summer, far longer than anticipated. The project had been approved by Langley Township council at the very end of 2018.

The vote was unanimous, but had followed a series of contentious public hearings in which multiple residents pushed back, raising concerns that the centre would bring crime and drugs into the surrounding neighbourhood.

Creek Stone Place is low-barrier housing, intended to get people inside, provide them stability in housing, and access to other supports ranging from job training to health care to addiction and mental health treatment.

The project will not end homelessness in Langley. A survey of teh number of homeless people in Langley several years ago found more than 200 were sleeping on the street, in the bushes, or in shelters every night.

Cold and wet weather in November saw the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope open its doors for both regular and emergency shelter, and the facility was at maximum capacity most nights.

There is capacity for 77 people in total at the shelter during an Emergency Weather Response (EWR), including 15 extra mats added during snow and cold rain.

However, Gateway’s residential services manager Cristina Schneiter said that since Creek Stone had opened its doors in the fall, the number of people turned away had dropped sharply. In October, Gateway had to turn away 95 people. By the middle of November, it had only turned away seven for the month.

Efforts to aid the homeless in Langley included work by groups such as Kimz Angels, the Friends Langley Vineyard Church, numerous social service organizations and the provincially funded Intensive Case Management Teams.

One unique effort that began this year was a partnership between the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS), Paws for Hope, and the Gateway of Hope.

Two free clinics were offered so that homeless and low-income people with pets could get their furry friends seen by a vet, for check ups, vaccinations, flea and de-worming treatments, nail clims, and ear cleanings. The clinics were held in March, and were so popular that another one was already being planned for 2020.

Homelesshomeless housingHomelessnessHousing and HomelessnessLangley

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

Just Posted

Langley MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman were sworn in at a virtual ceremony on Nov. 24, 2020 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
New Langley MLAs preparing for first session of legislature

Andrew Mercier and Meghan Dykeman were sworn in at their homes

Share your opinion with editor@langleyadvancetimes.com
LETTER: Langley church protecting religious freedom by allowing crowds

Letter writer encourages people to pray to put an end to the pandemic

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

More than 2,300 BC Hydro customers in Langley were without power as a windstorm moved through the community on Nov. 30, 2020. (BC Hydro)
UPDATE: Power restored to 2,300 hydro customers caused by windstorm Langley

Three separate outages were reported related to weather

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
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

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

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

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: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read