(Visual: A snow covered street in Coquitlam appears on the screen, then cuts to a clip of a sign that reads “3030 Gordon Avenue is operated by raincity housing.” A man wearing a dark blue jean jacket is seen entering a building with large white letters above the doors that read, “3030 gordon avenue.”)
This is 3030 Gordon Avenue in Coquitlam. And this is the first permanent shelter in the Tri-Cities, ever.
(Text on screen: Bill Briscall, Communications Manager, Raincity Housing)
(Visual: A man wearing a blue jean jacket, named Bill Briscall, is being interviewed. He speaks straight into the camera, shoulders squared. His face and chest are well lit, and he contrasts sharply with the blurred dark wall behind him. The video cuts to a bearded man behind a dark-coloured desk in the building’s reception area talking to a 3030 Gordon resident. The video cuts to a man sitting on a bench in the reception area playing a guitar. The video cuts to a close up shot of his hands fingering the guitar neck, then pans back out to reveal him sitting on the bench against a dark wood-paneled wall.)
There are 95 people at the shelter right now, those are 95 individual stories.
(Visual: The video cuts to an older man wearing a black and white plaid jacket facing the camera and standing in the middle of a sparse, snow-covered forest with a few houses off in the distance. The video cuts back to the bearded man being interviewed at 3030 Gordon.)
(Text on screen: Adam Prytuluk, Assistant Manager, 3030 Gordon Avenue Shelter and Transitional Housing)
Mike was one of the first guys that came into our shelter. I remember him being dropped off here the morning that we opened.
(Visual: The video cuts to the older man, named Mike, starting to walk into the forest. His back is to the camera. Then the video cuts to him being interviewed at 3030 Gordon Avenue.)
I was homeless for over 10 years. I’m an alcoholic. I drank all the time, every day we drank. You drank to go to sleep.
(Visual: The older man, Mike, stands in a forest clearing by a telephone pole. The video cuts to Mike starting to walk into the forest. He points to a spot in the centre of the bushes.)
One of the areas that did stay in was the centre of the bushes here… nice quiet place before they built all the new developments. It brings back memories, wow.
(Visual: The video cuts to Mike from behind as he walks in the forest along a wooden fence. The video then cuts to a close-up of Mike from the side as he continues to speak.)
We’d be visited by either the coyotes or the bears, and you could hear them… you’d always sleep with one eye open more or less, or one ear listening for different sounds that you’re not used to.
(Visual: Mike walks into a temporary camp in the bushes. There are personal effects including bicycles and clothing strewn everywhere. He briefly converses with a hidden figure under a tarp before walking away.)
Anybody at camp? Hello.
Hey how you doing?
Hey how’s it going?
Not bad. How you making out?
Sends a shiver...
(Visual: Mike walks with Bill Biscrall in the snowy forest along a wooden fence. The two men converse (indiscernible) and walk to the entrance of 3030 Gordon Avenue, open the door and go inside while Mike’s voiceover is heard)
You can’t find a full time job or a part time job if you haven’t got a place to go home to shower, to clean up, to feed yourself properly.
(Visual: Video cuts to an interview with the bearded man, Adam Prytuluk. He speaks straight into the camera, shoulders squared. His face and chest are well lit, and he contrasts sharply with the blurred dark wall behind him.)
Once people get inside I think they realize that they have some worth, and they start to rebuild their sense of self, taking away some of some of the stuff that people have to do to survive, and then they can focus on what they need to do to thrive.
(Visual: Video cuts to a common area of the building, with several residents watching a movie on a raised TV in the corner of the room. The video then cuts to a worker serving a meal over a glass and metal countertop to man in a cafeteria, then cuts back to Bill Briscall being interviewed.)
And the conversations start to shift from, “where’s my meal going to be” to “maybe I can start volunteering somewhere, maybe I can learn some skills or help clean up around the community.”
(Visual: Video cuts to indoor thermostat reading 25.0 C°, and slowly pans across a bedroom which includes a neatly made bed, lined up toiletries, several pairs of shoes, and a blue scarf with a heart-shaped, hand-written note pinned to it that reads, “I hope this scarf makes your heart big!” The video cuts back to Mike being interviewed.)
This is a wonderful place to kind of stop, think, reflect and work back on getting on track, getting that positive situation in my life, and giving back to the community.
(Visual: Video cuts to exterior images of 3030 Gordon Avenue. Video cuts back to Mike and follows him through the halls of 3030 Gordon Avenue. Using a tap card, he enters his unit at the end of the hall. His unit looks warm and cozy, with colourful children’s drawings on a fridge and a small birdcage in the corner of the room.)
I’m not a junkie. I’m not a thief. I just try to get by every day, and I’m trying to make the best of it and to get back on my feet again to get some part time work, or full time work. But a year from now, I don’t want to be having to start all over again.
(Visual: Video cuts to Mike briefly being interviewed and then back to the two small, colourful birds in the birdcage in his unit. Mike motions to the birds while they jump from perch to perch. Video cuts to Mike being interviewed.)
I enjoy the place, it’s comfortable, but it’s not a home. It’s a house. It’s a place to sleep, it’s a place to clean. It’s not a home. And I intend to look for a home - a permanent home.
(Visual: Mike puts a cup away in his kitchen and then starts to look through a newspaper on the counter. The video cuts back to Mike being interviewed.)
I definitely will not go back outside, I do have two birds that I care about a lot, so, there’s no way I’m going back outside.
(Visual: The video cuts to Mike back outside standing in front of the cold forest, and slowly pans into a close-up. Mike manages a small smile. Then the video fades to white.)
(Text on screen: 3030 Gordon Shelter & Transitional Housing, Coquitlam, BC.)
(Text fades in: Home to hundreds of stories.)
(Text fades in: Thanks to Mike for sharing his.)
(Music fades out)
(Text on screen: 3030 Gordon Shelter & Transitional Housing received a combined investment of approximately $11.7 million from the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Federal-Provincial Housing initiative, under the Investment in Affordable Housing.)
(Visual: The Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia logos are shown under the text. All visual and text elements fade to black.)
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December 22, 2017
First permanent shelter in Tri-Cities makes immediate impact
3030 Gordon Avenue plays a vital role in the Coquitlam community and offers housing to people who need it most. Operated by RainCity Housing, it’s the first permanent shelter in the Tri-Cities area of British Columbia. The shelter is home to 95 people. People just like Mike, who was homeless for over 10 years. With the support of RainCity Housing, Mike is getting back on his feet.
Mike spent many years living outdoors. “We’d be visited by either the coyotes or the bears. You could hear them and you’d always sleep with one eye open and listen for sounds you’re not used to,” Mike recalls. “You can’t find a full-time job or a part-time job if you haven’t got a place to go home to and shower, clean up and feed yourself properly.”
Shelter at 3030 Gordon in #TriCities #Coquitlam brings people in from the cold.
Shelter at 3030 Gordon in #TriCities #Coquitlam brings people in from the cold.
RainCity Housing is committed to delivering progressive housing solutions with care and support to vulnerable people in the Tri-Cities. 3030 Gordon Ave is a four-storey development that includes 30 transitional studio units and 30 permanent shelter beds. The target clientele for these resources: the homeless and people at risk of homelessness. During winter, the building also houses 30 extreme weather beds to increase shelter capacity.
“Once people get inside, they soon realize their own self-worth and begin to rebuild their sense of self,” says Adam Prytuluk, Assistant Manager, 3030 Gordon Ave Shelter & Transitional Housing. “And when you take away some of the stuff that people have to do just to survive, then they have a chance to focus on what they need to do to thrive.”
Residents at 3030 Gordon Ave have access to 24/7 staff support and a learning space for counselling and skill-development programs. Other resources: a commercial-grade kitchen, dining area, storage and laundry area.
Mike is eager to move forward with his life: “3030 Gordon is a wonderful place to stop, think, reflect, work to get back on track, create a positive situation in my life and give back to the community.”
This project received funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Province of British Columbia through the Canada-B.C. Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement. It was also made possible thanks to contributions from the City of Coquitlam.