A woman stops during a rainstorm in Williams Lake Wednesday to give a young panhandler a bag with food and clothes inside. Angie Mindus photo

Cariboo residents reach out in acts of kindness toward stranger

Young woman offered food, clothing

Sitting in the pouring rain along Highway 97, a young woman holding a sign reading ‘anything helps’ was well-received by strangers stopping to help her this week in Williams Lake.

The woman, named Joylene, said she is originally from Anahim Lake and has been staying at the local homeless shelter in Williams Lake and accessing community services such as breakfast and lunch programs offered at the Salvation Army and dinner at the Cariboo Friendship Centre.

READ MORE: Cariboo Chilcotin well-being and community safety survey launched

She said she is looking for a place to stay in Williams Lake for the winter.

The Salvation Army was bustling with activity Friday in Williams Lake.

Tamara Robinson, director of family services and community outreach, said about 600 clients, made up of children and adults, receive food hampers from the food bank every month in Williams Lake. Every day they feed approximately 110 individuals a hot lunch. On Friday there was a long line-up.

Robinson feels the need for food and accommodations are only growing in the lakecity, with the curtailments of local mills and closure of Mount Polley Mine. She said they are also seeing more people moving from the high costs associated with living in the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan only to be met with zero to one per cent vacancy rates for housing in Williams Lake.

See more on the these issues in the Williams Lake Tribune next week.

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