The Salvation Army in Maple Ridge parters with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to increase housing for homeless families in the community.
By Samantha Shirley-Urano, The Maple Ridge Times September 21, 2010
Families without shelter in Maple Ridge will soon have an opportunity to avoid the elements and live a more normal life in a comfortable home. The Salvation Army’s Caring Place Ministries and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference partnered to bring this home for homeless families to the community.
The Caring Place took possession of the house Monday and is in the process of making it an enjoyable home for families in need.
Darrell Pilgrim, the director of the Caring Place Ministries, said furniture was moved into the house Friday, and they are in the process of getting a telephone line there. The ministry’s thrift store will also donate paintings and decorations to the home.
On Monday morning, Murray Douglas, the Social and Communications Officer for Division 320 of the Teamsters presented Pilgrim with a cheque for $4,350 to be used for upkeep of the home.
The money was raised at the union’s annual charity golf tournament on Sept. 8 at the Golden Eagle Golf Club in Pitt Meadows.
Douglas, who is in charge of choosing a charity for the tournament, discovered the Caring Place’s project through an article in the TIMES in June, then presented it to his colleagues.
“We read the article and we decided based on what we read to give our help to Caring Place,” Douglas said. ” … I know there’s lots of homelessness out there; it’s practically become a part of life. The things that tugged at my heartstrings were innocent children. We can’t help but reach out to that.”
The goal of the golf tournament was to give to the community of Maple Ridge.
“Part of our mission statement is to give back to the community where we work, live and play,” Douglas said. “It is our mission to give back to the community and be involved in the community.”
Before the Caring Place had this house, homeless families in need would sleep in the boardroom at the Caring Place’s facility on Lougheed Highway.
“There is no family pegged to go in right now, but just a week ago we had a family that was staying here at the shelter,” Pilgrim said. “It would have been ideal if we’d had the house then. During the summer we had more calls for help than even the year previous. We feel like the immediate need for this type of housing is right now, and we’re extremely excited to offer it.” The house will be a one-year pilot project, with one family staying there at a time.
Pilgrim said that along with funding from the city, the money donated from the golf tournament will cover all their other outside costs.
He said the home will allow children to live with their families with the least amount of disruption to their lives.
The Caring Place also provides a community meal program, serving 8,000 meals a month. Other programs targeted toward children include back-to-school programs, summer camps and Christmas toy donations.
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