The City of White Rock has received a hefty grant in order to operate a daytime warming shelter this winter.
On Thursday, the city announced via news release that it has received $320,000 from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to operate the warming facility, which will build on a daytime warming centre pilot project the city ran last February and March.
The pilot project, the city notes, “provided people experiencing homelessness with protection from extreme weather in addition to other critical services.” It operated in conjunction with the emergency overnight cold-weather shelter at nearby Mount Olive Lutheran Church.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding to assist our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker.
“Beyond providing a warm, safe refuge during extreme cold snaps, the daytime warming shelter also serves as a connector to other essential services such as health and personal care and mental health resources. Making these connections is a critical piece to helping people access the help they need.”
Funding for the grant comes from the provincial government’s Strengthening Communities’ Services program, which is administered by the UBCM. It aims to “help local governments increase services in response to homelessness made worse by the pandemic.”
According to the city, last winter’s warming centre pilot project saw 622 visits over 34 days – for an average of 18 individuals a day – and provided more than 1,700 meals and snacks, 28 showers, and also connected six individuals to permanent or transitional housing.