When Peter Saran took over ownership of the Rendezvous Pub in downtown Langley last October, he did so with eyes open to the problems associated with homelessness in the neighbourhood.
For more than eight years he ran a pub in New Westminster that had its own issues with homelessness, so he said he has the experience to make a difference in his community.
“I see a lot of similarities with New West then and Langley City now.
“Near our pub in New West was a large population of homeless, some living in our back alley,” he said.
“We amalgamated with the Salvation Army there and reached out to the City to see what we could do to help. We helped build a cold weather shelter in New West (run by the Salvation Army), supplying all the blankets and beds.
“We also provided all the food that was left over from the pub,” he said.
“We also worked hard to create trust with the homeless. We worked with them, not dictated to them — I think that is key,” said Saran.
He wants to make that kind of impact in Langley. In fact, his goal is to make a difference within the first year.
“We aren’t just a pub in the downtown; we want to do our part in the community,” he said.
Rendezvous Pub held its first charity event last week.
On May 14, Rendezvous Pub in conjunction with Langley City Fire Rescue hosted a charity golf tournament at Tall Timbers golf course.
More than 100 golfers came out and more than $6,000 was raised to go towards the firefighters’ homeless initiatives and Cycle for Sight, a chosen charity of the Langley Rivermen.
Saran has reached out to the City’s mayor and plans to meet with the Salvation Army and other service providers to see what part the pub can play in helping the people living on the streets.
“We are looking to reach out and see what we can do here in Langley,” he said.
“What I see here, and how huge the issue is, we have to tackle this as a community or nothing will change.”