The Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness is looking for endorsements from community members to support the group's efforts to expand services and housing for local citizens living outdoors.
"We have a variety of different goals," said task force spokesperson Wanda Mulholland. "Housing is key to that - to establish the support for a continuum of housing that would assist people who are extremely poor - and expanded services would have to do with furthering the work of the outreach resource centre in offering advocacy and housing support, and medical and dental care and laundry and showers."
Every Thursday, Progressive Housing Society runs the outreach resource centre from Burnaby's Southside Community Church. Homeless people can drop by for food clothing and referrals to other resources, and there's a nurse practitioner on site to help with any medical problems. While the last homeless count found 78 homeless people living in Burnaby, the outreach resource centre helps 100 to 120 each week.
The task force is a collection of organizations, including police, local businesses, faith groups, concerned citizens, the board of trade and the health authority. They came together in 2005 to focus on addressing homelessness in Burnaby, one of the few remaining Lower Mainland municipalities with no permanent, year-round homeless shelter.
According to Mulholland, there are already 100 endorsements collected, as the task force started soliciting support several months ago. Some of the organizations that have signed on include the Burnaby Board of Trade, Burnaby Community Connections, Meals on Wheels, Burnaby Family Life, the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Burnaby Lougheed Lions Club.
Mulholland said the task force is looking for community support in principle.
"In general, we need Burnaby citizens to support what we are doing so we can move forward in lots of different ways," she said.
To support the campaign, go to www.burnabyhomelesstaskforce.org.
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