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Posted: November 7, 2015

Extreme weather shelter spaces available in city

The B.C. government is funding 24 extreme weather shelter spaces in Cranbrook this winter to help people whose health and safety may be threatened by cold weather.

The temporary spaces are available until March 31, 2016 as extreme weather alerts are issued in Cranbrook.

The 24 spaces are at Salvation Army Kootenay Valley Community Church, 533 Slater Rd.

“In times of extreme weather, we want to ensure no one is left out in the cold,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said. “These spaces protect our most vulnerable people from the harsh elements, while shelter staff provide a caring hand to those in need.”

“For the last few weeks as the weather has gotten a little cooler we were seeing people on a daily basis coming in cold, damp and in ever-increasing poor health,” Salvation Army Maj. Kirk Green said. “The shelter has been open for three nights now with guests from 20 years old to 60, and we have seen a real difference even in that short time.”

Each community decides what weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.

Throughout British Columbia, close to 1,200 temporary emergency shelter spaces will be available this winter in about 100 communities.

The provincial government also funds outreach teams to help connect people with a range of services such as housing, health care and community supports. Last year, more than 7,200 people in B.C. were connected to housing, income assistance and a range of support services by provincially funded homeless outreach and shelter workers.

A list of permanent shelter spaces is available at: www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/ESP.

To receive notifications on when communities are issuing Extreme Weather Alerts, follow BC Housing on Twitter: @BC_Housing

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