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Press Release
Temporary Winter Shelters in Chilliwack November 9, 2022

Chilliwack, BC: On November 9, 2022, in a special open meeting, Chilliwack City Council resolved to temporarily not enforce zoning bylaws in three locations in order to provide emergency winter shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness.

“People experience homelessness for a variety of different reasons, and we know that many people are currently struggling during these tough times,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “In order to help individuals on their journey to health and wellness, it is important to help meet their basic need for shelter, especially during cold and wet winter weather.”

Wellness Centre

Through the Chilliwack Community Integration Initiative, the Chilliwack Community Safety Plan, and the Community Response Team, a pressing need for a location for individuals experiencing homelessness to go during the day and access services was identified. To address this gap in services, the City requested and received one-time funding through UBCM’s Strengthening Communities Program, Reaching Home, Fraser Health, and BC Housing.

Thanks to this funding, on October 4, 2022, Council accepted the Request for Proposal submitted by Pacific Community Resources Society for the provision of “Wellness Centre Operations”. As part of the proposal, it was the responsibility of the operator to secure a site for the project, with the objective of having the Centre open for the winter season.

During the day, the Wellness Centre will provide a culturally safe, trauma informed space with wrap around supports to improve the health, safety and well-being of individuals experiencing homelessness. Although it was a challenge to find a suitable building available for a short-term lease, property at 45951 Trethewey has been secured for the temporary centre.

“Council acknowledges how important it is for people experiencing homelessness to have a safe, warm indoor space to go during the winter. In order to help get everyone through the winter safely, Council has resolved to not enforce zoning bylaws in this location for six months,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “We hope that BC Housing and Fraser Health will look into long term solutions for a daytime Wellness Centre in our community in the near future.”

Overnight Cold Weather Shelters

Currently, overnight shelters throughout Chilliwack are reportedly operating over capacity and additional beds are urgently needed to accommodate an emergency response over the winter.

Ruth and Naomi’s Mission has been working on a temporary solution for this winter to help ensure people are not turned away from overnight shelter due to space limitations. Following Council’s resolution, they are able to open a temporary 20 plus bed overnight shelter area at 46146 Margaret Avenue, subject to the Fire Chief inspecting the building and concluding that there are no immediate life safety concerns.

Additionally, Ruth and Naomi’s, in coordination with the United Church, are able to provide overnight shelter space at the Cheam View United Church on Spadina Avenue. This site will include 20-25 beds for overnight use only during extreme weather periods.

To learn more about the City of Chilliwack’s Community Safety Plan, visit To learn more about the City’s Homelessness Action Plan, visit

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