Uniting to help the homeless

Ladies from four Sparwood Churches joined forces to hold a bake sale to raise funds for the newly proposed and not yet officially named Homeless and Low Income Housing Shelter.

Melody Bruce

Ladies from four Sparwood Churches joined forces to hold a bake sale  to raise  funds for the newly proposed and not yet officially named Homeless and Low Income Housing Shelter. The shelter is a project of the B.C. Housing Society, and will be located in the adjacent lot to the Salvation Army building in Cranbrook, B.C. Captain Kirk Green, Salvation Army Corps Officer and Pastor notes that this shelter will accommodate those from the Elk Valley as well as Cranbrook. “Currently there is a plan to have fifty beds for singles, there will be 18 transitional spaces, a separate four-plex for families and a third floor with affordable housing units,” Green says. “There is a need for this type of unit in Cranbrook and the Elk Valley as well, “says Green. “It is just more noticeable in Cranbrook. There are a significant number of people in this area who are homeless, couch surfing or one pay cheque away from being homeless,” he comments.

B.C. Housing will be funding all of the capital and operational costs, but pledges and in kind donations are being accepted for the soft costs. “We presently have approximately two million dollars and in kind pledges for soft costs,” says Green. “And with people, such as the church members in Sparwood, we are raising more all of the time.”

Yvette Despres, from St. Michaels catholic church in Sparwood was first contacted with a letter from the Salvation Army  and the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation describing the new shelter and their need to raise money. Despres initiated contact with ladies from other churches and at the beginning of June they jointly held a bake sale. “It was like God put the idea in my head to contact the other churches,” says Despres.

Wanda Macneill from the Sparwood Fellowship Baptist Church, Melody Bruce from the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Church (LDS), Heather Henwood from the Sparwood Christian Centre and Yvette Despres from St. Michaels catholic church were pleased to make a $2248.00 donation from their bake sale proceeds and donations from church members.

The new shelter is expected to break ground next spring.


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