Temporary and extreme weather response shelters open

With colder weather already hitting parts of the province, the province is opening additional shelter spaces to ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to a safe and warm place to stay.

“Temporary and extreme weather shelters are crucial to ensuring the health and safety of people living on the street and getting them out of the cold and wet weather,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These shelters not only have the potential to save lives – they also assist people in accessing the support and services they need to achieve housing stability.”

In Prince George there are four shelters: The Prince George Native Friendship Centre at 140 Quebec Street which has 21 beds; The Prince George Native Friendship Centre Drop-in Centre; the Association Advocating for Women and Children at 144 George Street which has 30 beds;  and the Active Support Against Poverty Housing Society at 1168 Sixth Avenue which has 30 beds.

In partnership with municipalities and non-profits in approximately 65 communities around B.C., the province is providing more than 1,400 temporary shelter spaces and over 750 extreme weather response shelter spaces.

All temporary shelter spaces will be open overnight and every night, with many open 24/7, as well as providing meals. Many temporary shelter spaces have already opened for the season and more will continue to open starting Nov. 1, 2018.

The additional extreme weather response spaces will be available from Nov. 1, 2018, until March 31, 2019, and will open when a community issues an extreme weather alert. Communities decide what weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.

The temporary and extreme weather response shelter spaces supplement the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout British Columbia. More temporary shelters and extreme weather shelters may be added throughout the season when needed and where appropriate.

The province also funds outreach teams that work throughout the province at shelters and on the street to help connect people experiencing homelessness with housing and support services, such as income assistance and mental-health services.