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Another step in creation of Coquitlam homeless shelter
The organization overseeing the construction of a homeless shelter and transitional housing facility in the Coquitlam has begun the process of selecting an architect.
The request for proposals closed Monday and RainCity Housing, which will operate the shelter planned for 3030 Gordon Ave., will now sift through 10 to 20 applications.
“We are reviewing them and we are going to meet over the next couple of weeks,” said Sean Spear, an associate director with RainCity Housing. “There are some really experienced and excellent candidates.”
He added that a decision on which firm the society selects will be made by the middle of July and work will commence on the project almost immediately. Spear hopes preliminary work can be completed in time for a public open house, expected to take place in September.
Once a design is finalized, a builder will be selected in the fall. The process must move quickly, Spear added, in order for the project to be completed by 2014.
“That is what we are working on and that is the timeline we have,” he said. “We want to get this built.”
Input from the community will be sought as the project moves through the design phase and one organization that will be particularly involved is the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group.
Sandy Burpee, the group’s chair, said there are several design elements that are important to the committee. An office to co-ordinate volunteers is necessary, he said, in order to connect the community with the shelter and allow for consultation from local residents. He would also like to see a dental clinic on site.
The Gordon Avenue shelter has been in discussion for close to three years. In 2009, the city of Coquitlam made the land available for an emergency shelter and transitional housing facility.
When it is completed, it is expected to have 30 emergency shelter beds and 30 transitional housing units, and is seen as a way of getting people off the streets and into permanent housing.