April 18, 2008 News Release – A new $14.1-million development that will provide 55 beds for homeless people officially broke ground in Langley today. The Gateway of Hope is a partnership between the Province, city, township and The Salvation Army.

“This government is committed to helping people overcome homelessness and its causes,” said Minister responsible for Housing and Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman. “The combination of housing and support services at the Gateway of Hope will bring stability to people’s lives and futures.”
“For those living on the streets and those who care about them, the Gateway of Hope will be more than just a building,” said Langley MLA Mary Polak. “It will serve as a symbol of our commitment to end homelessness in Langley and across the province.”  

The development will provide 30 emergency shelter and 25 supportive transitional beds and is being created through the Provincial Homelessness Initiative, which is part of the ongoing work of the Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions. The Initiative integrates health and social services with housing to help people move beyond temporary shelter to more secure housing, greater self-reliance and appropriate employment.

“This project demonstrates the benefit of governments working together to provide more stable housing options for our community’s citizens in greatest need,” said City of Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender. “The Gateway of Hope will go a long way towards providing an effective long-term solution to the issue of homelessness in our community.”

Added Township of Langley Mayor Kurt Alberts, “The Salvation Army saw a need in this community and chose to address it by fostering partnerships that made it possible for this development to break ground today.”

In addition to the housing component, the Gateway of Hope will also have a drop-in meal service and provide support services onsite through The Salvation Army Community and Family Services programs. The development will meet a variety of needs providing support for the homeless as well as others in the community who are at risk. 

“The Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope will not only provide transition housing and emergency shelter beds, but also a range of support services to help individuals regain their independence in the community,” said Envoy Gary Johnson, executive director and pastor of The Salvation Army Langley South Corps. “In partnering with different levels of government, we are able to expand our services and provide homes for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as they move on to more stable living situations.”

The Province has committed to creating more than 4,000 new housing units under the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. The Province’s budget for shelters and affordable housing is $380 million – more than three times what it was in 2001.