It’s definitely a cold one out here in Vancouver. In fact, it’s so cold, Environment Canada has issued a special weather warning stating that we could be seeing seasonally low temperatures for the foreseeable future. Along with the fridged temperatures comes snow and heavy winds in Metro Vancouver.
While most of us are lucky enough to curl up in our beds with Netflix and our fur babies, there are some people who don’t have this as an option. In order to make sure everyone has a fighting chance in this extremely cold weather, the City of Vancouver has opened up new, temporary shelters and warming spaces for the homeless to take advantage of during this winter weather.
The City of Vancouver has recently tweeted out a number of shelters that will be open for the rest of the week. All the listed shelters will vary in operating days and times from Sunday to Wednesday with the possibility of staying open longer should this winter weather decide to sick around.
Warming centers like these are often activated when Extreme Weather Response alerts are issued by the Homelessness Services Association of BC (HSABC). In order for them to open, temperatures need to be near, or below zero with rainfall, which makes it difficult or impossible for those living in homelessness to remain dry. There also needs to be snow accumulation, sleet or freezing rain and high winds. So, basically everything the Environment Canada has issued warnings for.
PLEASE SHARE: Additional shelter space is available in Vancouver tonight due to an Extreme Weather Alert. Call 2-1-1 for info. Hours and locations are below: pic.twitter.com/Xnk3cWCuGH— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) February 2, 2019
According to the City, sites will open additional shelter space this week due to the cold weather warnings. Shelter sites that are open today include the First Baptist Church, Directions Youth Services Centre, Evelyne Saller Centre, and The Salvation Army Belkin House.
All temporary shelters spaces will be in operation from different times, typically from 10 PM to 7 AM and all offer a different amount of available sleeping mats. They also will accommodate different living situations such as couples and pets.
Along with the temporary shelters, a number of warming centers will be open should the temperatures reach or feel like -5C. These include Powell Street Getaway, Vancouver Public Library, West End Community Centre, and Britannia Community Centre.
All locations will accommodate pets, bikes and carts. Locations will also offer hot beverages and snacks.
Weather like this isn’t fun for anyone, especially if you have little to no static living situation. If you see someone who looks like they need help, be sure to direct them to the appropriate warm up or temporary overnight shelter.