Chilliwack – On Tuesday, about a dozen vocal protesters held a rally across from Chilliwack Middle School and down the street from Chilliwack Secondary. In the other direction is the BC Housing/Ruth and Naomi’s Temporary Shelter on Yale, called The Portal.

Locals don’t want the city to grant a three year temporary use permit to allow the shelter to be there.

A petition to “Take Back Downtown” was started by Tina Ortutay. She doesn’t have a problem with the homeless per se, but she feels the shelter’s location is not right for the neighbourhood and the shelter of it’s kind should be in the old (and empty) HY Louie building on Luckakuck or close to the welfare office on Yale near Highway 1. They are hoping the City Council review this location and realize children’s safety is an issue, as well as local crime and drug use/discarded needles.

Tina Ortutay

Heather Cullen lives across from CMS, and told FVN that she has watched crime and drug use, sky rocket since the shelter opened in December 2018.

Heather Cullen

When FVN was covering the story, when a few RAN volunteers came by asking protesters if they wanted brownies and coffee. They tried to scurry off when FVN tried to take their picture.

RAN Volunteers

The small protest was a little disappointing for organizers. They plan to be at RAN’s public hearing on Thursday evening at the Family Centre on Princess from 6:30PM to 8:30PM.

2 thoughts on “Small Protest Over RAN’s Portal Shelter In Advance Of Public Meeting On 3 Year Extension”
  1. As sent to the Mayor and council .
    To Mayor Popove and Council
    I am writing in regards to the Ruth & Naomi’s shelter on Yale Rd . First let me say I am not in favor of the shelter or a three year extension. Let me say that I live approximately 200 yards from the shelter. So I am very familiar with what transpires at the shelter.
    First it started out as a ” Temporary ” shelter so the homeless could get out of the cold. This was suppose to only be temporary . Then it turned into a 24 hr shelter that was only suppose to be open for the winter months. Then it has turned into a shelter open 24hrs 7 days a week .Now council wants it open for 3 years. This is a very sneaky way of getting what Ruth And Naomi’s wants. Sneak it in little by little. And so far the City of Chilliwack Council has taken part in all of this.
    Another reason I am not happy with this is Crime Rates in our neighbor hood have escalated to disastrously high levels. To such a point that a home is now almost unsalable in this neighborhood . Ask yourself , Would you want to live beside a drug infested shelter. Probably not.
    This shelter is beside a neighborhood store . Every day 2000 plus children go to school with in 300 meters of this school. Every day I see drug addicts selling drugs in the parking lot of 7 – 11. They do it because they cant sell in front of the shelter. This is good for the dealer though . So now they have business from the drug addicts in the shelter but also now have potential clients from 2 schools. A little bit of free drugs on a Friday will be good for future business.
    Why do the influential children from 2 schools need to be exposed to this. Do you want your children watching drug addicts exposed to this life style every day. We are suppose to protect them from this.
    In Chilliwack it is a fight to get a business license to open a pot store. Many have tried and failed because the city has upheld a bylaw that does not allow for the legal sale of pot. Thank you for this. But on the other hand, the City of Chilliwack will allow a shelter where drugs are used openly . Is not zoned for Habitation . Does not have proper facility’s to house 45 people .Is 300 yards from 2 schools . Close to Parks. There is so many infractions with this shelter I can not understand how a 3 year application even made it this far. It was promised in the start that this was temporary . It is now past the temporary stage.
    I want it closed . If the city is allowed to break its own laws this means there are no laws.

    Thank You
    Peter Scullion

    I live downtown, some of my family go to CSSS. I am very much aware of the shelter on Yale Road. I support the business in the area such as 7/11, Subway etc. I know that the shelter is not in the best spot if we had a multitude of choices however we do not. It is where it is and it works. The people that stay at the shelter deserve to have a roof over their head, its not the same as their own place but it is much better then the streets. People deserve respect however they must also respect the area and the people walking by on the street. More should be done to make sure there is not large groups of people intimidating those walking by…that being said there should also be more patrols of the surrounding area (7/11 parking lot etc. ) to keep people moving along. If it takes more time in order to make a proper and complete plan as well as put the plan into action then the shelter will need to stay. Besides that, we are going into winter again and there is no other place for those 45-50 people to live. Many say that our children should not have to see the drug use and abuse on the streets on a daily basis and in a perfect world that would be terrific if they did not see it however it is also a great learning tool. A teaching opportunity to show the children what happens when you use drugs and alcohol. It might be the best deterant there is out there. Show them the true to life sadness and hardness. I hope the people of Chilliwack can come together to help end homelessness and poverty.

    Clara Hooper

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