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

UPDATE: Police continue to investigate two bomb threats at Clearbrook Library

No explosives found in incidents on Thursday and Saturday in Abbotsford

Cascades basketball game cancelled

California team no longer travelling to B.C. due to air quality concerns

Fraser Valley Express doubles weekend and holiday bus service

Four new round trips to be added, starting Sept. 4

No smoke delays for Abbotsford Airport

Local facility has avoided impact of B.C. wildfires

Harry Manocha announces plans to run for Abbotsford council

Quality of life, homelessness and school violence among his concerns

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford Car Show

13th annual Historic Downtown Abbotsford Car Show returns

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

More bus trips coming to Metro Vancouver this fall

TransLink touts improvements when fall service changes take effect Sept. 34

Bear kills off-leash dog in North Vancouver park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read