ACS Issues Letter To Community Appealing For Support For Homeless Project

Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) has released a letter to the community asking for support and understanding in its attempt to build housing for 21 homeless men.

Abbotsford Today has reproduced the letter below:


These are interesting times at Abbotsford Community Services.

In partnership with BC Housing, ACS is committed to developing a 21-unit Supportive Housing project on our property at 2408 Montvue Avenue. This is adjacent to our main office parking lot. This project will house men who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Men who are already here and homeless in Abbotsford.

This is what is called a ‘Housing First’ model. This will be a ‘Low Barrier’ facility.

What do those terms mean?

Housing First: simply stated it means that until a person’s housing and basic needs are met, they cannot address other issues such as mental health or substance misuse.

Low Barrier: residents will not need to be clean and sober to enter the facility, but at intake, they will be required to enter into an agreement and a plan to address their issues.

We are facing some very strong opposition. We know there is a lot of misinformation circulating in the community. We know that many people are totally unaware of this proposal and the facts about the project. We know there are lots of questions.

So, this past weekend ACS launched a new website giving more information.

ACS What Homeless Looks Like

Do Something.

We know you’re busy. The sun is shining; the kids and grandkids are out of school for the summer, vacation plans are waiting, the garden needs tending, and how about a little bit of good old fashioned relaxation?

All we are asking is that you look at the website and thoughtfully consider the information.

Don’t want to spend time reading through the information?

No problem. Peter was a ‘street individual’ for 27 years. He can tell you the benefit of having a roof over his head better than we can.

Spend two and a half minutes (that’s all, 2-1/2 minutes) to watch this BC Housing video about a similar project on Dunbar Street in Vancouver.

Official Opening of Dunbar Apartments:

Timing is Everything – And the Time to Act is NOW!

This project is at the stage of needing rezoning approval from Mayor and Council.
This project can only happen if they approve the rezoning application.

We are asking you to show your support to inform City Council that this is the right thing to do for Abbotsford’s homeless men and those at risk of homelessness.

ACS Rezoning

How are we asking you to show your support?

  • Go to the Supportive Housing Website to get the facts about this project and latest updates (being added daily) and SHARE this site with your family and friends.
  • If you support this project, please write a letter to Mayor and Council explaining your reasons for support. Their email addresses are LISTED HERE.
  • Would you mind sending us a copy of your letter? Send it to:
  • LIKE and SHARE our Facebook Fanpage.
  • Come to the Public Open House at ACS (2420 Montrose Avenue) on Thursday July 25th from 6-8 PM and talk to all the partners involved in this project

Please speak up, write, encourage others to write, and invite our whole community into a positive conversation about this project.

The outcome of this proposal is still very tenuous, but I want us to be able to say that we did everything within our ability to house some of our friends who currently don’t have roofs over their heads.

Rod Santiago
Executive Director

For More Information Please Contact:

Janna Dieleman
Donor & Community Relations Manager
604-859-7681 Ext. 204


To stay informed simply click here.

Over the next few days ACS will add factual information to our website.

Come to the Public Open House on July 25th at ACS from 6-8 PM.

Everyone is welcome.

To find out more about the proposal please keep reading or visit the Abbotsford Community Service website or the new website devoted to the Supportive Housing Project here. Updated information will be added to the site daily.

To email Mayor Banman and Council click here.

Doug (left) with Jesse Wegenast from 5 and 2 Ministries (right)

Doug (left) with Jesse Wegenast from 5 and 2 Ministries (right)


What Homelessness In Abbotsford Looks Like

Abbotsford Community Services (ACS), in partnership with BC Housing is proposing to develop a 21-unit apartment building on their property at 2408 Montvue Avenue in Abbotsford, adjacent to the ACS offices. The project will house men who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

This is the third project in Abbotsford which addresses the issue of homelessness and its impact on the community, with the first being the Christine Lamb Residence on Clearbrook Road and the second being the George Schmidt Centre on King Road.

Some facts about this initiative:

The initiative uses a Housing First model, which contends that until a person’s housing and basic needs are met, they cannot address other issues such as mental health and substance misuse.

This is a supported housing initiative, which means the site will have staffing until 9 PM as well as an on-site caretaker 24/7.

ACS staff will provide additional supportive services including Addictions, Counselling, Advocacy, Employment Services, Life Skills Training, Mentoring and Food Bank Services.

ACS will partner with health and mental health professionals and other community based services to support residents.

The site will be low barrier, which means that residents will not need to be clean and sober to enter the facility, but upon intake, they will be required to enter into an agreement that identifies physical and mental health and substance misuse and a plan to address these issues.

Unlike a temporary emergency shelter bed, this will be someone’s stable home with supportive services on-site.

This site will have:

  • No needle exchange
  • No illicit substances allowed on premises
  • No visitors allowed in the suites
  • Secure, fenced in smoking area
  • Alcohol consumption will be monitored and restricted
  • Inappropriate and disruptive behaviours will be addressed

The proposed collaborative project will house men who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and in doing so will further promote a safe, clean and vibrant neighborhood; one in which everyone wants to live and prosper. Our goal is to house people who are homeless and support their transition in to independent housing.

For more information please view the following documents:
What Homelessness Looks Like
Housing Project Letter to Our Neighbours
Letter of Support (.doc)


Leave a Reply