As the cold temperatures continue this weekend, the city of Vancouver is keeping warming centres and additional shelter spaces open.
“We have warm indoor space available for everyone, no one needs to sleep outside tonight,” Sandra Singh, the city’s manager of arts, culture and community services, said in a news release.
“Anyone experiencing homelessness is welcome to come inside and get out of the cold. Warming centres will welcome everyone, and people can bring their pets, bikes, and carts with them.”
The city opens its warming centres when the temperature reaches -5°C or below (or it feels like -5°C or below). Hot drinks and snacks will be available, and those with their own bedding may choose to sleep at the centre. Last year, up to 100 people accessed the warming centres on any open night, the city said.
During the day, community centres and other public buildings are available during their regular hours as spaces to warm up.
Extra shelter space will be open at four locations on Saturday and Sunday:
- Directions Youth Services Centre at 1138 Burrard St., for 15 youth (24 year of age and under), open between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Evelyne Saller Centre at 320 Alexander St. is open between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
- The Salvation Army Belkin House at 555 Homer St. has intake at 11 p.m. and breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
- Walton Hotel Amenity Space at 261-B East Hastings St. is open between 8:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.
Two warming centres will be open at:
- Britannia Community Centre at 1739 Venables St. is open between 9 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.
- Overdose Prevention Society at 58 East Hastings St. is open between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. (This location is an overdose prevention site that provides harm reduction)
The city notes that the three locations on East Hastings and Alexander streets are in close proximity to Oppenheimer Park.
“The City’s Outreach staff continue to be at Oppenheimer Park regularly and are working to move people indoors,” the statement reads. “Currently the Outreach team is working with approximately 50 people who are experiencing homelessness and frequently sleeping in the park.”