The new Langley Youth Resource Centre was built, and will include a youth homeless shelter. (Langley Advance files)

Top Five of 2017: Homelessness doubled while solutions were controversial

The number of Langley residents without a roof over their heads increased.

The homelessness crisis intensified in Langley in 2017, and one proposed solution sparked more controversy.

At Metro Vancouver Homeless Count data was released in the spring, showing that the number of people living on the streets of Langley had more than doubled in three years.

There were 206 people counted in 2017, a 124 per cent increase from 2014.

In March, Langley MLA Mary Polak announced that funding from Fraser Health and BC Housing would be used to create an Intensive Case Management Team, a dedicated unit that would try to help those on the street, and those in danger of losing their homes.

The ICM was to have a “housing first” strategy, getting people into stable shelter and then finding them long-term housing and dealing with other issues.

Another “housing first” project sparked concerns in the fall.

BC Housing announced that it wanted to create 49 units of housing in the former Quality Inn in the 6500 block of 200th Street.

At an open house on the project, several hundred people gathered.

While some were in favour – “It’s about bloody time,” said one speaker – more were opposed.

“I’m worried it will cause severe problems for our safety,” one resident said.

Opponents lambasted the project for being in the wrong area, and cited its proximity to stores, houses, and elementary schools.

Another project moved ahead smoothly, as the new Langley Youth Resources Centre – which will include a small youth homeless shelter – was built in the Willowbrook area.

In December, the existing adult homeless shelter, the Gateway of Hope, began running low on space.

Including regular and Extreme Weather Response spaces, the shelter can accommodate 45 people overnight. But for a few cold nights, the shelter had to turn a few people away. Those who couldn’t come in were offered bus tickets to get to shelters in other communities, but not all took them.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: City of Langley library celebrates India’s festival of color

Kids were invited to learn about Holi celebrations, and taste treats.

Glow-in-the-dark swim and games for a cause

Township of Langley will celebrate Earth Hour with its first glow-in-the-dark swim in Aldergrove.

Sources Langley Food Bank can’t find a home

Landlords don’t want to rent to the food bank and time is running out

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Our Views: Here’s hoping they mean it

For Langley dairy, poultry, and egg farmers, it sounded like potentially good… Continue reading

VIDEO: Bentley nearly causes crash going wrong way on Coquihalla

Bentley driver allegedly travelling at high speed

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

South Surrey mother guilty of second-degree murder in death of daughter

Lisa Batstone killed eight-year-old Teagan in December 2014

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Surrey RCMP investigate alleged assault that may have been a ‘driver dispute’

Police say a vehicle fled the scene after an alleged assault this morning at 96th Avenue and 152nd Street

Most Read