This year, our shelter is called "The Bridge Shelter," not because it's on or under a bridge, but because it has changed shape a bit to bridge the two years between our old shelter (which rotated from church to church from November to March) and the new one which will have a permanent address at 3030 Gordon Street in Coquitlam. The Bridge Shelter is open now at Northside Church in Port Coquitlam. The plan is to run it at that location for this winter and next, then to move to a permanent location at 3030 Gordon Street in Coquitlam in 2014.
So here's where it becomes apparent that it's things are really looking better for people who live in the Tri-Cities. Here are just a few examples:
- If you know someone who is homeless, tell them about the shelter. It's lower barrier this year than it has been in the past. There's secure parking for guests' carts and walk-up guests are welcome. Inside there's a safe, warm place to sleep, free clothing and toiletries, a home-cooked supper, hot breakfast, and a bag lunch. Plus, there are workers from Hope For Freedom Society who can help with referrals to housing and addiction and health services, if that's what you want.
- If you want to help, you can volunteer to work a shift at the shelter. Morning volunteers make breakfast and eat with the guests, then put the beds away after they leave. Evening volunteers set up the beds, share supper with the guests and help with clothing and toiletries.
- If you want to help, but don't want to work on site at the shelter, you can donate. Right now, the shelter needs new or gently used men's clothing (everything from socks to jeans to winter coats), small toiletries, feminine hygiene supplies, and groceries. Work boots are especially welcome, even used, with some life still in them.
- Another way to help: sign up to cook supper for the guests for one night. (This is a good family or friends and neighbours project.) You just need to cook it and bring it in by about 9pm. The volunteers on site will serve it and do the dishes. You can stay if you like. It will change how you see things. I promise.
- For information about all of the options listed above, call Hope For Freedom at 604-729-4972
- Finally, you can learn more about the permanent shelter planned for 3030 Gordon Street in Coquitlam. There will be an open house at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, 1205 Pinetree Way in Coquitlam on Tuesday, October 16, 5-8pm. You can meet the people from Raincity Housing (the society that is building and will be operating the permanent shelter) and have input to the plans. Info about the open house: Sean Spear at 604.215.3048
question: what do you know about this?
mompoet - please come find out more - you will be glad