The Gateway of Hope is calling its first Extreme Weather Alert for tonight (Thursday) and the remainder of the weekend due to an expected dip in temperatures.
An arctic front will arrive later Thursday. Environment Canada reports that parts of the Fraser Valley may see a couple centimetres of snow Friday morning as the cold front hits most of B.C.
When an extreme weather alert is called, Gateway lays out 30 extra mats to help shelter the homeless during inclement weather.
The shelter will take in people from the cold from 7 p.m. until 9:30 a.m. each night that the alert remains in effect.
The Salvation Army has been running its regular shelter at or near capacity every night for most of the year.
The most recent homeless count, carried out in March, revealed that the Langleys have more than 200 people who are considered homeless. That number is a snapshot and is considered to be higher, said Langley’s outreach workers.
The homeless population has more than doubled in the past three years in the Langleys.
BC Housing and Stepping Stone Community Services Society are proposing to convert the existing 50-room Quality Inn hotel at 6465 201 St. into 49 units of supportive housing for the homeless.
Stepping Stone will operate the housing with at least two staff members on duty 24/7.
The new Integrated Care Management team will be based out of the facility, which includes wrap-around supports for the residents. They will have access to a nurse pactitioner, psychologist and psych nurse and well as resources to get help with addictions if they choose.
While the low-barrier housing project has the support of the Langley RCMP, it has garnered a lot of opposition from nearby residents and business owners.
More than 500 Langley residents packed a meeting on the proposal to turn the Quality Inn into homeless housing.