Cold snap triggers more emergency shelters in Vancouver

Vancouver is getting prepared to open more extreme weather shelters in the city, after the first HEAT shelter downtown on Richards Street filled up within hours after it open earlier this week.

Second shelter near Ontario Street and 5th Avenue to open this week

The cold snap has triggered the opening of emergency shelters 0:56

Vancouver is getting prepared to open more extreme weather shelters in the city, after the first HEAT shelter downtown on Richards Street filled up within hours after it open earlier this week.

Temperatures on the South Coast have dropped below zero this week after an arctic weather system moved over the province.

Vancouver Councillor Kerry Jang says 45 more beds will be available at a HEAT shelter near Ontario Street and 5th Avenue when it opens.

Anything you can do to provide socks, winter clothing and blankets to a charity would be very helpful at this time.- Vancouver Councillor Kerry Jang

Another extreme weather shelter is also opening in Kitsilano, city staff say. A total 115 beds be available at the emergency shelters in Vancouver this winter

Jang says so far nobody has been turned away, and outreach workers are out in communities to let homeless people know there are places for them to stay warm.

He says residents can also help by helping the homeless find the emergency cold weather shelters.

"When it starts to get cold outside, certainly if you feel comfortable and talk to a homeless person and say, 'Look there is a shelter nearby and we can help you get there,' or if you are not feeling comfortable, just call 211 and we will make sure and outreach worker goes out there," said Jang.

If you don't feel comfortable talking to homeless people there is still much you can do, says Jang.

"Anything you can do to provide socks, winter clothing and blankets to a charity would be very helpful at this time."

               

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