Staff at the Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch in Williams Lake were busy Friday morning packing up skeletons and other spooky Halloween decor following their annual haunted house fundraiser.
Homeless outreach worker Wayne Lucier said while they did not have as many visitors as last year it was a good night.
“There was still a lot of people,” Lucier said. “Over 200 people came through last night, so that was kind of cool and donations were amazing. We got a lot of food, Kayla is still counting the cash, and the surprise today is somebody sent a couple grand donation for the homeless outreach program.”
Lucier said the non-perishable food donations will be going to Jubilee Place that is run by CMHA.
He said since the 2017 wildfires the number of people they are working with has increased.
Lucier believes it’s because most people working at minimum wage or having to rely on income assistance can no longer afford what they have to pay for rent coupled with the skyrocketing prices of gasoline and food.
“When I travel around and go out of Williams Lake, I see these numbers are increasing everywhere,” Lucier said.
“Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton-the numbers are just getting crazy. I’m hoping this new store when they open it up here, FreshCo, that is going to make a little bit of change but it’s getting too expensive for most people.”