Maple Ridge held the first in a series of community meetings to discuss homelessness tonight.
In the past few months, the city of Maple Ridge has been allocated $15-million from the government to fund a permanent housing facility for its homeless community.
Back in June, it also granted its temporary shelter another nine month permit, while it works on modular interim housing hoped to ease tensions around the facility.
Shawn Matthewson, recreation coordinator with the City of Maple Ridge, says residents are already compassionate towards vulnerable people but she hopes the sessions will help the public become more informed on the issue of homelessness.
“Our goal is not to stigmatize people who are use substances, who are homeless, and we really want to respect that everyone is a citizen of Maple Ridge. I think for the most part that the citizens of Maple Ridge are compassionate and respectful of people who are homeless but there has been incidents where it hasn’t been as respectful.”
Four sessions will take place between now and the first week of November.