Homeless shelter in jeopardy after funding dries up

Reverend Jim Short says it was due to 'low occupancy'

Delta's Extreme Weather Shelter was open 62 nights last winter and housed 42 homeless.

Delta's Extreme Weather Shelter was open 62 nights last winter and housed 42 homeless.

Ladner United Church may have to discontinue service for its Extreme Weather Shelter after its funding was cut, according to the church’s Reverend Jim Short.

Their local extreme weather coordinator—Options Community Services Society based out of Surrey—cited low occupancy numbers at the Delta Extreme Weather Shelter over the last two years as a reason BC Housing has decided to reallocate resources to other sites.

The shelter received $700 per night it was open in funding, according to Peter Fedos of the Options Society, with overall expenditures of $28,000 for 2011.

The two shelter workers received an honorarium for being on duty while all other workers were volunteers, providing organization, cleaning, laundry, food preparation, and other duties.

“The majority of guests came from outside of our community, travelling through, ending up here, and a few folks who needed refuge and was not used extensively by the visible homeless in our South Delta Community,” wrote Short in an email.

He said North Delta homeless would likely seek shelter in Surrey as opposed to Ladner.

Short said the funding cut raises some important questions, including the need for a shelter in Ladner and safe refuge for someone leaving domestic violence.

But the church, which is currently undergoing major renovations, might still convert a planned multi-purpose room into an emergency shelter.

“We have a commitment to this as it reflects our values and vision,” said Short, adding a sponsor will still need to be found.

The Delta Extreme Weather Shelter staff will likely decide whether it should try to work Options Society to ask BC Housing to reverse its decision, or take on running the shelter with community donations.

Short said it’s unknown whether the police, hospital, or municipality would still refer people to the shelter without being one of 26 official Extreme Weather Shelters across the province.

Ladner United Church has been running the shelter for the past two years after the province created the Shelter Act in 2009 to provide extra emergency shelter beds to homeless persons during periods of weather that threaten their health and safety.

The church was first approached by the Delta Police Task Force on Homelessness and funded with the assistance of BC Housing and the Options Society.

The shelter was open 49 nights and housed 50 people in the winter of 2010-11, and was open 62 nights and housed 42 people last winter.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Just Posted

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Hundreds gather at Surrey park in memory of victims in London attack

Vigil organized by Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read