Downtown Coalition disbands

Mission’s Downtown Coalition has been disbanded and the Red Card Program, which it oversees, will be phased out by the end of June.The coalition was a select committee for the district, formed more than six years ago to bring together social agencies and community and business members to address issues concerning downtown. It disbanded last month after a review suggested its services were being duplicated.The community outgrew the Red Card Program and even as last fall’s spaghetti western fundraising dinner was being planned, organizers were analyzing its future and the group’s original mandate, said coalition member Coun. Heather Stewart.The Red Card was introduced in 2004 as a way to help the homeless and panhandlers without giving them money. People can purchase a card for $2, and the recipient can receive items such as a meal, bus ticket, a shower, toiletries, and a clothing voucher.At its peak, more than 100 people were using the card and Mission Community Services (MCS), which manages the program, couldn’t afford to fund the meals, explained Stewart. Over the years, support services have been stepped up in the community, making the program obsolete, said Stewart, who is uncertain of the number of cards still circulating, but noted there are fewer panhandlers now.“That signifies they are getting food somewhere else.”The coalition also provided networking opportunities, but as the use of the Red Card decreased so did its membership.The Outreach Network, representing 12 local organizations, made the recommendation to discontinue the Red Card and outlined other resources available for those needing a meal and other services, such as showers, bus tickets and laundry facilities.Free meals are available seven days a week at various locations downtown, including the Mission Friendship Centre, Union Gospel Mission and Street Hope Station X. Showers, laundry service and daily snacks are available at UGM. MCS will continue to manage the program until June 30, and the $4,500 raised at the recent fundraiser will be divided equally among the three organizations providing daily meals.MCS executive director Tony Lapointe did not return calls from The Record by press time.

Just Posted

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Most Read