Options Community Services has reached an important milestone along the road to opening the new Bill Reid Memorial Shelter in Cloverdale. This week, crews began removing the large pile of dirt on the site – pre-load that compresses soil to create solid ground for construction.
“It’s so exciting to see this moving forward,” said Christine Mohr, executive director of Options Community Services, which is building a 28-bed transitional shelter in partnership with the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, the City of Surrey, BC Housing and Pacific Community Church, along with local businesses and individual donors.
The recent death of Shawn Friesen (see story, ‘A Man on the Margins’), has highlighted the ongoing efforts to build the shelter at 17752 Colebrook Road, a project that was championed by the late Bill Reid. The former executive director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and was known for bringing together the business community and local government to work on a community solution to homelessness.
“It all comes back to Bill,” says Paul Orazietti of the Cloverdale BIA, a friend and colleague who worked closely with Reid. “Bill was always giving [Friesen] money – pocket change.”
The new shelter will replace Cloverdale Hyland House, a 10-bed shelter nearby. Construction is expected to get underway next year.
The new facility is described as a therapeutic farm community. It will have a larger capacity and offer more supportive services that will help people leave homelessness behind.
To contribute in support of the shelter or other Options programs, visit www.options.bc.ca or call 604-584-1342.