March 19, 2007.
I would like to thank you for publishing the recent letter from Laura McDiarmid about homelessness in Burnaby. It is important that Burnaby citizens are concerned about this issue because homelessness affects so many people in Burnaby as well as every other municipality in the Lower Mainland.
The Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness was established in 2005 and is made up of representatives from government agencies, the health authority, community organizations, faith communities and concerned citizens who have come together to identify and address issues of homelessness in the City of Burnaby.
Despite our short history, we have had successful initiatives including:
- a six month survey and report on the needs of the homeless in Burnaby
- Outreach Workers who have made significant impact on the lives of many homeless people
- a Burnaby based event for Homelessness Awareness Week in which hom
eless people were given the opportunity to get information from Burnaby health care professionals
- the establishment of the Outreach Resource Centre which provides homeless people with access to Outreach Workers and a Nurse while receiving a bagged lunch, donated clothing and non perishable food each Thursday from 10:00am till 12 noon at Southside Community Church 7135 Walker Avenue
- the establishment of an Extreme Weather Shelter response in Burnaby during the challenging winter weather. 242 beds were utilized during a 17 night period.
Anyone wishing to donate clothing, food, money or wishing to volunteer at the Outreach Resource Centre can contact Progressive Housing at 604-522-9669 ext 317.
Donated clothing can be dropped off at Progressive Housing 7297 Kingsway, the New Southeast District Community Police Office 7191 Arcola Way 604-656-3275 behind Highgate, or the office of MLA Raj Chouhan 7879 Edmonds 604-520-2756