“Abbotsford City Council has struck a Task Force on
Homelessness to address multiple issues related to homelessness in our community,
announced Mayor, Bruce Banman today
“Council created the Task Force on Homelessness to address the issues before our
community from a holistic perspective,” said Banman. “We need to examine not only the
conditions and responses to homelessness that exist in Abbotsford today, but address
the steps we need to take to meet the requirements in our community going forward.”
The Task Force will operate as a Committee of Council and will be co-chaired by long-time Abbotsford City Councillors Patricia Ross and John Smith.
“This is an immediate undertaking to identify short, medium and long-term strategies to
address homelessness issues in Abbotsford,” said Banman. “The Task Force has been
charged with designing and initiating a comprehensive community-wide homelessness
response plan working in full consultation with all community partners including BC
Housing, the Fraser Health Authority, the service community and the business
Members of the Task Force also include representation from MCC, the Food Bank, the
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network and the
Abbotsford Police Department.
“The Task Force will be working very closely with all levels in the community and
conducting multiple engagement activities to ensure they capture all perspectives and all
voices,” said Banman. “They will be the forum through which the community discusses
the issue of homelessness in the City of Abbotsford.”
The first meeting of the Task Force will take place early April 2014. Members of
Council’s Task Force on Homelessness are named below.
Task Force Members:
Jim Burkinshaw is the volunteer Coordinator of the Abbotsford Christian Leadership
Network’s “City of Refuge Team”, a group of ministry and church leaders in Abbotsford
whose goal is to help churches expand and coordinate their existing involvement in
social justice concerns. Jim is a Chartered Professional Accountant, MBA and works full
time in the agricultural industry. He also teaches part-time at Trinity Western University’s
School of Business.
Darin is the Executive Director, Lower Mainland Non Profit with BC Housing and has
worked in senior operational and program management positions before joining BC
Housing 8 years ago. Darin holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University and has
attended the Executive Program in Public Sector Leadership at Royal Roads University.
He has been a member of numerous community task forces during his career.
Stan Kuperis is the Director of Clinical Programs Mental Health and Substance Use with
Fraser Health, responsible for the areas of Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz and
Hope. Stan has worked with Fraser Health in the area of MHSU for 14 years and has
previously been the Manager of MHSU in Chilliwack for 12 years. He has been involved
with the Homelessness Strategy in Chilliwack resulting in the creation of the Chilliwack
Health and Housing Contact Centre. As well he has been involved in developing
outreach mental health and substance use services to folks who are homeless or at risk