OUR VIEW MAY 15: Teaming of BETHS, Habitat for Humanity Boundary and Whispers of Hope a good thing

Grand Forks has a number of charitable organizations and in a brilliant move, three like-minded groups will be sharing the same roof.

Grand Forks has a number of charitable organizations and in a brilliant move, three like-minded groups will be sharing the same roof.

Habitat for Humanity Boundary has been building homes for low income families for well over 16 years and in fact, it recently completed a multiplex in Grand Forks that takes into consideration the environment, as it was built with BuiltGreen certification.

The Boundary Emergency and Transition Housing Society (BETHS) only operates for part of the year but it provides people a place to spend the night in the colder months, as not everyone has the luxury of a roof over their heads.

Originally called Hands of Mercy, Whispers of Hope provides meals and food for people and operates a thrift shop as well.

While the agreement isn’t finalized yet, the three are looking to move into the old veterinary building on Riverside Drive.

It only seems natural that all three not only work together but share the same building as well, especially the latter two given that people who spend the night in the extreme weather shelter will want something to eat in the morning.

Providing affordable housing is a worthy endeavour but it doesn’t come cheap. There will be a store that sells affordable, and in some cases, used building material, and that will be able to provide a revenue stream, as well as cut down on material going to the landfill.

Also, Habitat for Humanity Boundary may be able to use some of the products from the retail store for some of its projects.

For the past few seasons, BETHS operated out of the Grand Forks Christian Centre but people were essentially sleeping in the worship area of the centre or in office space areas. With the new building, there will not only be proper areas, there will be facilities where people can clean and bathe.

The three non-profits have been providing for others and have similar goals and bringing them together only makes sense.

Habitat for Humanity Society executive director Rick Friesen said the three collaborating is fairly unique to B.C. and hopefully more communities emulate this.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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