Extreme weather response beds open unofficially for tonight’s rainfall warning

Provincially funded program funds 20 one-night shelter spaces this November

Tonight's heavy rainfall forecast has prompted the opening of 20 emergency weather response beds for people sleeping outdoors.

There are 20 extreme weather response beds ready in Abbotsford and, unofficially, they’re opening for tonight’s rainstorm.

Program coordinator Nate McCready of the Salvation Army said though they aren’t officially using the provincially-funded extreme weather program tonight, they’ll open up the beds to anyone who needs them in light of the forecasted cold, driving rain and winds.

An Environment Canada rainfall warning is currently in effect for the Fraser Valley area, including Abbotsford, with the possibility of over 100 mm of rain tonight. Heavy rain is forecasted to continue tomorrow. Flooding and washouts are possible.

With a forecast below freezing for Sunday night, McCready expects to officially open BC Housing-funded beds very soon.

A province-wide program funded by BC Housing, Emergency Weather Response beds provide a one-night indoor shelter for people sleeping outdoors when the weather gets cold enough to endanger their safety.

There are 20 beds currently set aside at the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope on Gladys Avenue for the month of November, and there will be 10 more beds available at Abbotsford Community Services come December.

After that, McCready is hoping the churches who usually participate in the program will offer beds in the new year. So far, he expects Sevenoaks Alliance and Abbotsford Pentecostal will likely open their doors.

The beds open when McCready issues an extreme weather alert, usually when temperatures dip below freezing, snow builds up, or there’s heavy cold rain. He consults with other front-line service providers to the homeless, like 5 and 2 Ministries and the Cyrus Centre, and together they make a judgement call about whether a bad weather pattern will endanger people’s health.

“[BC Housing] would rather we err on the side of caution,” McCready said.

Last winter, extreme weather response beds were also provided at Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Ross Road Community Church, and the Cyrus Centre.

This winter, the province is providing about $1.6 million in funding for the program B.C.-wide from November to March. About 1,200 temporary beds will be provided across the province.

Just Posted

Abbotsford Panthers celebrate 35th anniversary of title with win

Panthers come from behind to defeat Notre Dame, Mouat edges Bateman in exhibition action

Two parks left in contest to crown Abbotsford’s favourite; Round 4 bracket results

After four rounds, one park chosen to face-off against Mill Lake Park in final

Vehicle accident on Sumas and South Fraser Way intersection

Southbound traffic on Sumas Way slow as the right lane is blocked

New wine patios clear hurdle in Abbotsford

Ripples Winery and Maan Farms Estate Winery each hope to create patios for drinkers

Abbotsford police searching for missing local man

David Cole’s family have not heard from him since early September

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. Ferries wants input on concepts for a Horseshoe Bay terminal re-design

Ferry corporation accepting public feedback until Oct. 13

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

Most Read