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UPDATED: Optimism for homeless shelters
The managing director of the Hope for Freedom Society is optimistic a temporary shelter will be available for homeless people by Nov. 1, a month after its original Oct. 1 start date.
Rob Thiessen said he has been encouraged by the work of Tri-City churches and has approval for three churches to host the shelter, one in Port Moody, two in Coquitlam.
A third church in Coquitlam is in the works, he said.
"Our hope is to get everything up and running by Nov. 1," Thiessen said, adding that the first shelter may be located at Calvary Baptist Church in Coquitlam.
He's also looking for a church in Port Coquitlam to house the homeless for a month.
He also needs to come up with about $20,000 to $30,000 to provide a bus to pick up homeless people from collection points and take them to the various churches.
"I'm optimistic, we'll figure it out; that's the least of our worries," Thiessen said.
He's also received assurances from the funder that as long as progress is being made on securing sites for the temporary shelter, the money won't run out.
Meanwhile, Port Moody continues to offer a solution to the homeless shelter situation. In addition to providing ongoing approval for St. Andrew's United to house the homeless for a month every year, the city's councillors were planning to address the issue at an upcoming meeting.
Thiessen said St. Andrew's, which was scheduled to provide volunteers for the shelter starting Oct. 1, will now likely get an opportunity in March.