Fraser Valley – A number of services kick into gear for the homeless during severe cold snaps in winter.
For Abbotsford and Chilliwack, those programs are now going into place. As always, donations of clean and warm clothing, underwear and socks are always needed.
The big challenge for all this go round is COVID social distancing as many of the users already have immune deficient situations to deal with.
Another issue are warming centres during the day. The homeless need somewhere to go during the day and remain warm.
Cyrus Centre operates programs for youth under the age of 18 who are on the Street.
Also in Chilliwack – RAN or Ruth and Naomi’s Mission and their satellite shelter called The Portal.
The Salvation Army in both locales will have extra beds. Chilliwack’s Scott Armstrong says they will have 11 extra beds.
In Abbotsford, The City relies on Archway and the likes of Jesse Wegenast, with the Homeless Prevention Program and Abbotsford Community Services. The main supportive housing for an extreme weather shelter will be at Gateway Community Church. At the extreme shelter, an additional 30 beds can be opened up. Fast Food vouchers are handed out so clientele have somewhere to go during the frigid day as well as grabbing something to eat and stay warm.