A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)

BC Housing issues extreme weather alert for Surrey, White Rock

Shelter spaces open at several locations

BC Housing says an extreme weather alert has been issued for Surrey and White Rock.

A map on BC Housing’s website shows that all shelters in Surrey and White Rock are open Wednesday night (Jan. 2). In total, there are 15 shelters open in Surrey and one in White Rock.

People are asked to phone the shelters to find out how many beds are available and how late people can arrive. BC Housing’s website also adds that if a shelter doesn’t have a bed, “staff will help you hook up with other options, including shelters not associated with us.”

The Extreme Weather Response program, according to the Homelessness Services Association of BC, is a provincially funded initiative that “supports community-based serves to provide additional temporary emergency shelter spaces during periods of extreme winter weather which threaten the health and safety of individuals experiencing homelessness.”

The program officially runs Nov. 1 to March 31, but there can sometimes be calls to open in October.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Environment Canada put out a weather alert for a rainfall warning in Metro Vancouver.

“Rain, at times heavy, is expected,” the alert states. “An intense Pacific frontal system will stall over the region tonight and Thursday. The rain over Metro Vancouver will intensify tonight as the front stalls. Rain will taper to showers Thursday night as the front moves inland.

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke previously told the Now-Leader that the city has been “challenged in getting beds up and running, especially in north Surrey.”

RELATED: Surrey councillor says more extreme weather shelter beds to open in the city, Dec. 7, 2018

On New Year’s Day, Locke tweeted that “hundreds of people are homeless” throughout the city, “including the elderly and youth.”

“We will (work) with all community partners to help with innovative solutions for those in need,” she tweeted.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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