Forecasters have not been predicting a terrible winter weather-wise for much of the Lower Mainland for 2016-17.
But Chilliwack reps are grateful anyway to have the option of opening extreme weather beds, if needed, this winter.
Three Chilliwack agencies will be able to provide 33 extreme weather shelter spaces, thanks to the $1.6 million program from the B.C. government to fund 1000 extreme weather shelter beds.
In Chilliwack there will be 16 spaces available at Ruth and Naomi’s Centre, five spaces at the Salvation Army’s Brigadier Arthur Cartmell House and 12 spaces at Cyrus Centre Chilliwack.
The “extreme weather” beds, usually a cot or a padded mat on the floor, are a way to ensure those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness have access to a safe and warm place to stay for the night in bad weather.
The shelter beds will be available in nearly 75 communities from now until March 31, 2017, when a community issues an extreme weather alert. Communities decide what type of weather conditions warrant an alert, and how many spaces to open on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.
The extreme shelter spaces are supplemental to the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout the province.