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Today, New Westminster-based Fraserside employs more than 200 people and serves Coquitlam, PoCo, Delta, Surrey, Burnaby and New West.
It’s mobile work crew is a social enterprise for adults with developmental disabilities, which generates revenue from landscaping, rubbish removal, power-washing and other outdoor maintenance to pay for the crew’s salaries. They’re under contract for 31 homes and businesses.
“We were distraught about the theft,” said Lynda Edmonds, Fraserside’s CEO. “It leaves the crew stranded and Fraserside doesn’t have extra cash around, so we’ve invited the community to try to contribute to it.”
The insurance on the old truck wasn’t much and the society is hoping to raise $40,000 through donations for a new one. The old truck, along with an accessible passenger van, were stolen from a parking lot off Blackford Street in New West. The van was repairable when police found it, but not the truck.
The society provides housing, employment and social support for people who have no home or are living in poverty, suffer chronic mental illness or abuse substances, and people with disabilities. It serves about 1,800 people a year and gets its funding from Community Living B.C., Fraser Health and B.C. Housing.
“They are very gracious in helping us to provide our programs, but it leaves us very lean when it comes to funding for something like a truck,” Edmonds said. “That’s the kind of thing we need to do fundraising for.”
Donations can be made at 604-522-3722 (Ext. 111), online at fraserside.bc.ca or by cheque to the Fraserside Community Services Society at 330-550 Sixth Ave., New Westminster, VCL 3B7. Donations are tax-deductible.