For Immediate Release
Langley City, BC – A new temporary Emergency Weather Response (EWR) shelter is needed to provide an overnight warm space for the vulnerable populations in our community due to extreme cold.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, Gateway of Hope has been unable to offer space for an EWR shelter at their facility and a temporary location was secured by the Vineyard Church and Lookout Housing and Health Society at the Douglas Park Community School.
Unfortunately, this site will be unavailable as of January 4, 2022, as the School District will require their space back for educational purposes. A new temporary EWR shelter site needs to be secured as the extreme temperatures are anticipated to remain beyond the second week of January 2022. The City is encouraging non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations to consider hosting an EWR shelter at their facility.
For the purpose of emergency weather response, facilities that are zoned P2 (Private Institutional/Recreation), such as a church can host an EWR shelter at their site in response to below-zero weather events activated through the Emergency Shelter Act. Although local governments are not responsible for providing an EWR shelter, the City has and will continue to facilitate and support the host of the EWR shelter wherever possible and within reason.
The City was able to source the cots for the EWR shelter from the Langley Emergency Program as well as securing porta-potties and fencing at the temporary EWR shelter at Douglas Park Elementary School. Once the new location is found, the City will transport these supplies to the new site.
The Province, through BC Housing, will fund community-based services to provide temporary emergency shelter spaces during periods of extreme winter weather. The program is designed to provide time-limited, weather-responsive, temporary shelter spaces in communities where there is not sufficient emergency shelter bed capacity during extreme weather conditions. More details about the Extreme Weather Response (EWR) shelter program can be found here.
Samantha Paulson, Communications Officer
City of Langley