Langley shelter opens daytime warming centre for homeless

Freezing temperatures prompted the extra service

A daytime warming centre will be operating at Langley’s Salvation Army Gateway of Hope of the next few days to keep homeless people warm and safe during extended sub-zero weather.

The shelter, at 5787 Langley Bypass, will run the day time extreme weather warming centre from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., in addition to the night time Extreme Weather program which creates additional shelter beds.

“If you require shelter assistance after 9 p.m., Please call the RCMP at 604-532-3200 and they will help you to a location,” the shelter said in a press release. “IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE, PLEASE COME TO THE SAFETY OF THE SHELTER.”

As of mid-day on Monday, the RCMP had not been fielding calls to pick up any homeless people, according to Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

The shelter was at maximum capacity on Sunday night as the cold descended on Langley, at 77 people seeking shelter inside, said Cristina Schneiter, the residential services manager at the Gateway of Hope.

At mid-day on Monday, as temperatures hovered around -6 Celsius, there were around 40 people seeking a warm place to spend the day, Schneiter said.

Staff and volunteers were expecting another busy few nights.

Even once the shelter hits capacity, no one will be turned away, Schneiter said.

“We’re not going to send anybody out in the cold,” she said.

Staff will stay with anyone who comes in and find them an alternative space in another shelter of some kind, even if that means getting them to another nearby community.

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