New warming centre opens its doors in downtown Chilliwack

It's a made-in-Chilliwack solution with partners coming together like RAN, City of Chilliwack, Chilliwack United Church and BC Housing.

A warming centre is now open during daylight hours at the United Church in downtown Chilliwack for folks who have nowhere to go after the shelters close their doors each morning.

“This will keep people off the streets during the day,” said Bill Raddatz, executive director of Ruth & Naomi’s Mission. “For some when they leave the shelters they have nowhere to be safe and warm.”

It’s a made-in-Chilliwack solution, he said, with funding partners coming together including RAN, City of Chilliwack, Chilliwack United Church and BC Housing.

Now what they need from the community are some donations for coffee, treats or games, dropped off at the mission to be used for the warming centre.

The brand-new social development coordinator, hired by the city to join the planning team, has been in talks with community partners to find a solution on this one.

“We talked about it and admitted there was a weakness in the continuum of services that throws people out of the shelters in the mornings,” said Raddatz.

The providers typically need the space during the day hours.

“So this is a great system, and a good model,” the RAN rep said.

It could even represent the future of such service provision in the community, but that has yet to play out.

The drop-in warming centre will be open Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the United Church downtown on Yale and Spadina Avenue.

“This will be just another place for folks to come in out of the rain and cold to hopefully relax, get some rest and connect with our outreach workers and other services from around town,” according to the RAN reps on their Facebook page.

“What we could use is some donations of coffee and or treats that we can hand out to folks as they come in.

“We would also appreciate any games that folks could play while inside. If you can help with that you can drop them off at RAN Mission on Fletcher Street and mention it’s for the warming centre and we will get it to the right place.”

Chilliwack Progress

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