Help for Tri-City homeless

Sandy Burpee, chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Sandy Burpee, chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

An array of services will be made available to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless when Grace Church hosts the Tri-Cities Connect Day next week.

The event, which kicks-off Homelessness Action Week on Oct. 15, will feature a number of schools, businesses, government agencies and social organizations providing everything from hair cuts to counselling for people with mental and addiction issues.

“The idea of a Connect Day was to make as many services available under one roof,” said Sandy Burpee, an organizer of the event and the chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group. “The people that come out are very grateful for the services that they find.”

The simple act of getting a haircut or receiving a new pair of glasses can mean a lot for someone who is living in poverty, Burpee said.

He believes that initiatives like Connect Day help create ties between homeless people and the rest of the community, bonds that can often be the first step toward finding a home or dealing with an addiction.

“Outreach workers say it takes a while to get the trust and confidence of people who are living on the streets,” Burpee said. “In my mind, it all helps and if we make a difference in the lives of one or two or three people, then it has been successful.”

Burpee expects at least 75 people to attend Connect Day and everyone will be matched with a volunteer who will help prioritize the patron’s needs.

Connect Day takes place on Oct. 15 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Kingsway Campus of Northside Church (2606 Kingsway Ave., Port Coquitlam).



RainCity Housing is inviting Tri-City residents to offer their ideas for a homeless shelter planned for 3030 Gordon Ave. in Coquitlam during an open house on Tuesday.

The Oct. 16 event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way) in Coquitlam.

RainCity will be the operator of the new supportive housing and emergency shelter and is currently in the process of designing and building the facility. When it is completed, the facility will provide a resources and shelter for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

For information about the open house on the 3030 Gordon project, contact Sean Spear at 604-215-3048 or



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