Let's take back Downtown Chilliwack to make students safe again!!

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We, the undersigned, the legal voters, residents, business owners and parents in the Chilliwack area, request that City Council deny the Temporary Use Permit Application  for a three year term, being sought by BC Housing and Ruth and Naomi’s Mission (RAN) for the Portal located at 46293 Yale Road, Chilliwack, BC V2P 2P6.

Although we understand there is a need for homeless shelters and warming shelters in Chilliwack this is not the right location for it, this shelter impacts the entire neighborhood and children in the neighboring schools.  Most notably, this shelter was proposed as a temporary warming shelter in December of 2018, received a reprieve in March 2019 till August 2019 to allow the people staying there to move into more stable housing. Now they want to extend it for 3 years, this is not acceptable, and a new location should be found, this is no longer a temporary shelter but permanent. 

The Portal has inadequate facilities, it does not have any cooking or adequate bathroom facilities, with food being delivered and porta potties located outside under the balconies of people living on the East side of New Mark. This facility is not zoned for residential use, and is currently housing 45 individuals, many with mental health issues and drug issues.

Many businesses and residents are impacted by the number of homeless who gather in the area and who refuse to stay in the shelter, homeless sleeping in front of businesses, open drug use, overdoses, needles and drug deals, theft and other crimes are commonplace in and around the shelter.

In fact, this shelter is located approximately 170 meters from Chilliwack Middle School (Grades 6-8), 400 meters from Chilliwack Senior Secondary (Grades 9-12) with over 1500 students, and 800 meters from Central Elementary. Many students pass the Portal on their way to school which has an open display of illegal drug use, a discharge of dangerous needles, numerous people overdosing and many levels of other crime which accompanies this shelter.

Every child in Chilliwack should feel safe and secure when they are traveling to and from school. Local students should not have to be subjected to these levels of criminality because of the location of their school is near a shelter, that was never supposed to be there. Thus, another location is necessary to maintain student safety.