New Rescue Vehicle Launching In Fraser Valley
Union Gospel Mission Expands ‘Mobile Mission’ into Abbotsford & Beyond
(Vancouver) – A new rescue vehicle is rolling into the Fraser Valley this week, expanding UGM’s mobile outreach further than ever before and giving the region a new tool to tackle homelessness.
“Homelessness has surged into new places and we need to respond to the spreading need,” says UGM’s Jeremy Hunka. “The Mobile Mission saves lives. It provides urgent help, and bridges broken situations to programs that rebuild lives. It’s often the first point of contact between homeless guests and services they haven’t yet encountered.”
The specially-outfitted rescue van will be the only dedicated vehicle of its kind in the Abbotsford area. It is uniquely tasked to seek out and serve vulnerable people living on the edges of society–whether that be under bridges or in makeshift camps–stocked with survival gear and food. Crucially, the new Mobile Mission will partner with existing Fraser Valley services by connecting guests to shelter, housing, and recovery programs in the valley. The expansion aims to build on the success of UGM’s original Mobile Mission, located in Metro Vancouver, which will continue to operate west of the Fraser River and serve up to 200 people weekly.
“If it weren’t for the Mobile Mission I may be dead,” says Mobile Mission volunteer Mike Gosling, who was homeless for years before connecting with UGM through the rescue vehicle. “Having a second Mobile Mission operating in the Fraser Valley is great. My hope is that more people, like me, are saved through this expansion.”
Though the Fraser Valley Mobile Mission is officially expanding this week along with a dedicated Outreach Worker, new volunteers are needed to help operate the new vehicle.
“We can’t do it alone and we’re counting on the Fraser Valley to step up and help,” says Hunka, noting potential volunteers should visit www.UGM.ca/volunteer to sign up. “This is a great opportunity to give back in the Fraser Valley.”