Salvation Army Gateway of Hope in Langley has announced it will open extra beds in the wake of the fatal shooting of two homeless people on Monday.
Gateway Residential Services Manager Cristina Schneiter said “due to today’s tragic events” the shelter will be opening 15 beds, usually deployed under the Emergency Weather Response program, to “create extra space for individuals to stay inside.”
“If you are outside, please come to the safety of the shelter,” the announcement said.
The shelter will operate at 5787 Langley Bypass from 7 p.m. until 8 a.m. every night until Friday, July 29.
“In addition, we have activated our cooling center due to the heat alert and rising temperatures,” Schneiter added.
Gateway’s daytime cooling center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, “pending weather changes.”
On Monday, several homeless people told the Langley Advance Times the fatal shootings represented an escalation of the harassment they already endure, and they were concerned there will be more such incidents.
One homeless man, who asked to remain anonymous, said being treated badly for being homeless was nothing new, with vigilantes posting pictures of homeless people to social media.
“The community’s been targeting homeless people for a while,” remarked the man.
“It’s not new. What’s new is people are taking shots with bullets instead of their phones.”
“It’s an everyday thing,”said another homeless man, who also wished to be anonymous.
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