MapleRidgeCitizensVoice.com

Committee Members
BIOGRAPHIES

CHRISTINE BICKLE, CHAIR

Christine and her husband have raised five children in Maple Ridge and own and operate a small business on Lougheed Highway. Her work life has been varied: administration, fundraising, marketing, special event planning, human resources, accounting and working with volunteers, committees and boards. When she found her business in the pathway of a low barrier shelter, she mobilized. Through the process of collecting petition signatures, she met and spoke to hundreds of people. Like so many others she met, her life has been profoundly affected by addiction. She says she felt privileged to work alongside committee members to help contribute meaningfully to a solution for the community.

DARIN FROESE

Darin has been involved in social service delivery for over 25 years, holding Executive Director positions with Income Assistance and BC Housing.  He has an extensive background in shelter operations and issues around homelessness, having been a member or co-chair at local committees in Richmond, North Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Burnaby, Surrey, Abbotsford, and Metro Vancouver’s Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness. He is also the former Director of Operations at the Lookout Society, the Lower Mainland’s largest shelter operator, and is currently the CEO of the New Vista Society in Burnaby. With his family, he has been a resident of Maple Ridge for 20 years.

LISA SULLIVAN

A resident of Maple Ridge for 16 years, committee member Lisa Sullivan and her Cliff Avenue family home were in the direct path of the Cliff Avenue Homeless Camp. This experience combines with 20 years in the field of support services to give her a unique perspective. Lisa worked for 15 years as a child and youth care worker with SHARE Family and Community Services. She holds a Classroom and Community Support Worker Diploma from Douglas College with a specialty in Behaviour Intervention. She is currently an Education Assistant supporting children and youth in School District 42 and provides support to children and youth with autism diagnosis at Pivot Point Family Growth Centre. Lisa also obtained a Masters Certification with Mind and Body connection healing therapies, studying for seven years.

SANDY MACDOUGALL

Sandy Macdougall has lived in Maple Ridge most of his life. He is a retired reporter who also served three consecutive terms on Maple Ridge Municipal Council. He has volunteered with many local and provincial organizations. As one of the original volunteers for the Maple Ridge Treatment Centre, he played a key role in its establishment. Sandy is a recovering alcoholic with 53 years of unbroken sobriety. He has lost two loved siblings and a cherished grandson due to their involvement in drugs. He also brings the seniors perspective to the table.

JESSE STRETCH

Jesse is a business owner and resident of Maple Ridge. He has been hands-on and active dealing with the homeless situation, assisting with identifying and cleaning up camps and problem areas. Over the past two years he has collected thousands of needles from local parks and schools and continues this work as a volunteer foot soldier in the fight against needle contamination. Jesse says it’s been a pleasure working with the many great people he’s met through his work with a variety of community groups and service organizations dedicated to finding a viable to solution to the homeless situation.

ROB THIESSEN

In 1972, Rob began his career in the construction industry through his own business. His focus was mostly single family housing and land development, both in Canada and the U.S. In 2000, he retired and began volunteering at Hope for Freedom Society. Shortly thereafter he became the Managing Director and CEO of Hope for Freedom. Since 1996, the principle focus of the organization was to provide longer term residential addiction supportive recovery for men and women. In 2006, Rob led Hope for Freedom into mitigating the homeless issue in the Tri-Cities through Homeless outreach and seasonal shelters for the homeless. Since 2000, Rob has also been involved in a number of water and housing relief projects in third world countries. Rob is a husband and a father of three children, and a grandfather of seven grandchildren.

DR. PAUL BECKETT

Dr. Beckett was born and raised in the Ridge-Meadows area, attending Pitt Meadows Secondary. He completed his medical degree and residency training at University of Calgary before returning to work at Ridge-Meadows Hospital for ten years first as an Emergency Room physician, then as the Hospitalist chief. He subsequently served the medical needs of incarcerated women and men, directing medical care at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, Fraser Regional Correctional Centre and Surrey Pretrial Services Centre. He is a former medical director at two addictions centres, Maple Ridge Treatment Centre (men) and Hannah House (women. Dr. Beckett currently provides Opioid Assisted Therapy through Alouette Addictions, serves the medical needs of patients at several recovery centres in Maple Ridge, provides medical services at Fraser Health’s withdrawal management centre (Creekside Detox) and was contracted a few weeks ago to work with the newly formed Intensive Case Management team working directly with our street entrenched citizens in Maple Ridge. He is a member of both the Canadian and American Societies of Addiction Medicine, a specialist in addiction and in family practice, and an active member of the Ridge-Meadows Division of Family Practice.