HELP­ING OUT

Union Gospel Mis­sion hand­ing out back­packs for home­less

24 Hours Vancouver - - NEWS - PA­TRICK JOHN­STON

Back­packs that are said to be cus­tom-built for the needs of peo­ple who are liv­ing on the street are set to be dis­trib­uted for the first time in Ab­bots­ford and Lan­g­ley.

“De­mand is through the roof,” said Jeremy Hunka from the Union Gospel Mis­sion. The back­packs — pro­duced in part­ner­ship with the Ci­ty­pak Project and Wolfe Auto Group — proved to be pop­u­lar when they were handed out last year in Van­cou­ver, New West­min­ster and Sur­rey.

With home­less­ness grow­ing in east­ern parts of the Lower Main­land, or­ga­niz­ers de­cided to dis­trib­ute bags to Ab­bots­ford and Lan­g­ley as well.

Ac­cord­ing to UGM, “the cus­tom-built back­packs are specif­i­cally de­signed for life on the street, fea­tur­ing a builtin rain pon­cho, com­pres­sion straps for bed­ding, reflective straps, durable ma­te­rial and anti-theft loops.”

With the help of Wolfe Auto Group, UGM will hand 750 bags over to or­ga­ni­za­tions that work with the home­less across the re­gion. At least 300 of those will be dis­trib­uted in Sur­rey, Lan­g­ley and Ab­bots­ford.

“Af­ter wit­ness­ing the im­pact these sur­vival bags had on in­di­vid­u­als last year we knew our good deed went a long way,” Wolfe Auto Group’s Tris­tan Schon said in a me­dia re­lease. “We re­ally wanted to bring Ci­ty­pak to char­i­ties in Van­cou­ver and the Fraser Val­ley again this year.” pjohn­ston@post­media.com

POST­MEDIA NET­WORK PHOTO

The Union Gospel Mis­sion dis­tribut­ing Ci­ty­paks to home­less peo­ple across the Lower Main­land be­gin­ning on Wednesday.

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