First extreme weather response draws 20

Additional 20 beds set up for homeless as temperature drops over the weekend

As cold, autumn rain pelted down, Salvation Army Gateway of Hope issued its first of the season’s extreme weather alerts and opened extra emergency beds to the homeless on Sunday night.

That night, 20 men and women accessed the additional beds for a total of 52 people in the homeless shelter who didn’t have to sleep outside.

“People told us that they had no idea where they would sleep last night as the rain from the weekend dampened all of their sleeping areas, and then followed by the cold, made them unbearable,” said Cameron Eggie, Salvation Army’s residential services manager who is charge of issuing extreme weather alerts. Another alert was issued for Monday.

The homeless shelter puts out extra beds to bring people living on the streets in from the cold. The beds are open from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m.

People who are homeless and have no way to get to the shelter on the Langley Bypass can call Langley RCMP’s non-emergency line and an officer will take them there.

The Gateway of Hope emergency shelter will remain open until the current cold snap passes.

Temperatures were expected to drop to -3 Celsius overnight Thursday.