Delta’s only emergency weather shelter will be re-opening for the 2018-2019 winter season, this time with a new washer and dryer.
The shelter, located at Ladner United Church, opened for the first time last winter as a collaboration between the church, Options and the city. In total the shelter was open 69 nights and saw an average of one or two people for 64 of those. In February and March, that number increased to anywhere from three to five people a night.
This year, the shelter will be opening without funding from the city. In it’s first year, the shelter received $10,000 to cover start up costs, including sleeping mats, linens, cleaning supplies, lockable storage, pantry basics and an overnight chair. These items only cost $5,245, leaving $4,755 remaining for this season.
That money will go to purchase a washer and dryer for the church. According to a Delta staff report, a May 2018 meeting from shelter stakeholders found there needed to be quicker laundry turnaround, especially when the shelter is open on successive nights.
This year, like last, Options will provide paid staff to stay at the shelter from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Community volunteers will provide setup and clean up as required.
During council on Monday, Oct. 15, Counc. Jeannie Kanakos asked if there would be anything in North Delta that could operate as an extreme weather shelter.
The short answer, director of corporate services Sean McGill said, was no. The Delta Police Department works with organizations like Deltassist and Options to help bring people to the shelter in Ladner, which still has enough beds to handle the amount of traffic it sees, he said.
“I think we still have the capacity there,” McGill said, but added that expansion would be looked at as part of the city’s social planning work.