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Rally held in Maple Ridge to protest proposed homeless shelter

Click to play video: 'Rally held to protest proposed homeless shelter in Maple Ridge' Rally held to protest proposed homeless shelter in Maple Ridge
WATCH: Hundreds of people took part in a rally Saturday in Maple Ridge to voice their opposition a proposed homeless shelter. Residents claim they weren't consulted about plans to convert a Quality Inn into a 61 unit facility. Nadia Stewart reports – Mar 19, 2016

Maple Ridge residents rallied against a proposed homeless shelter in their community on Saturday.

Concerns arose after the B.C. government announced on March 10 that they would be extending the life of a temporary shelter in Maple Ridge, so it can complete the $5.5 million purchase and renovation of the Quality Inn.

WATCH: Maple Ridge residents angry over possible plan to house homeless in vacant hotel

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The homelessness shelter debate in Maple Ridge has been a long-standing issue with residents complaining about a lack of transparency.

“Before the sale of this place, we should have a forum to see where the situation is going to go,” said Matt Kelso, who helped organize the rally outside the Quality Inn located in the 21000-block of Lougheed Highway.

Many locals do not support the plan, saying it won’t solve the city’s homelessness problem.

“The current shelter that we have operated by Rain City has been, in most people’s opinion, a complete disaster,” concerned resident Rhonda Murray said. “The mayor always publicizes that things have gone well, but anybody that’s in the community around it knows that it hasn’t helped anybody….There are rumours about weapons inside. There’s open drug use inside. There’s commonly ambulances at the shelter for overdoses.

“We don’t want to see the same thing just moved down the street to the Quality Inn.”

– With files from Nadia Stewart and Paula Baker

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