Abbotsford, BC (With files from News1130/Abby News) – This past week, with a little pomp, ceremony and proud chest tapping, Abbotsford’s Mayor and two MLA’s announced a $750,000/40 bed winter shelter homeless project on Riverside Road.
This as the City of Abbotsford lost an appeal to move the Gladys Road homeless camp let alone any tent city, into somewhere , that could be out of sight and out of mind.
While the temporary Riverside shelter is a grand idea, made (literally) out of construction trailers, it has run into a PR problem.
Neighbours were not consulted in the initial planning and will only have one opportunity to speak for or against. And that will be days before the shelter opens.
A public meeting is set for December 14.
One neighbour stated that the City “made up their mind without letting any of the local residents voice their opinions or even hearing our concerns, or having them share information about what they plan to do about our concerns.”
While no one is opposed to the shelter, they are upset of the perceived lack of consultation and one person was told he’s not considered a “neighbour” so he would find out about these types of decisions through the media, which is exactly what happened.
The shelter is expected to be open from mid December to the end of April. By mid-January, Mayor Henry Braun says the city will begin to take down the homeless protest camp on Gladys Avenue, which has been there since 2013.