When it gets cold outside, there’s a place to go to keep from freezing, thanks to the cold and wet weather bed program.
The province is providing the funding to allow another 15 additional sleeping spaces to open up at the Salvation Army’s Caring Place when the weather gets colder.
Each community decides what weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need, according to the province.
Throughout British Columbia, close to 1,200 temporary emergency shelter spaces will be available this winter in about 100 communities.
The beds will be available until next March 31.
The provincial government also funds outreach teams to help connect people with a range of services such as housing, health care and community supports.
Last year, more than 7,200 people in B.C. were connected to housing, income assistance and a range of support services by provincially funded homeless outreach and shelter workers.
“In addition to the shelter spaces we already have in Maple Ridge, it is critical to provide emergency shelter during those extremely cold and wet winter nights,” said Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Doug Bing.
The provincial government, through B.C. Housing, is also funding the operating costs of the 40-bed temporary shelter at 22239 Lougheed Highway, as well as the 25-bed emergency shelter at the Salvation Army. The latter costs $1 million a year.