Erin Schulte was all smiles last year, after a water fountain for the homeless was returned to 135A Street. She’s upset that it’s yet to be installed this year. (File photo/Amy Reid)

Surrey urged to put back 135A Street water fountain amid hot weather

For second year in a row, advocate calling for city to install its temporary fountain

WHALLEY — A homelessness advocate is calling on Surrey City Hall to bring back a temporary drinking fountain along 135A Street after a stretch of hot, sunny weather.

Erin Schulte, who runs the Pop-Up Soup Kitchen along the Strip, said she will be sending the city a letter calling for the city to immediately re-install the water fountain.

“The homeless came to me today begging me to ask the community to get their water supply turned back on,” Schulte told the Now-Leader on Tuesday. “It’s been a struggle already even with the few sunny days we have had.”

The city has supplied a temporary fountain there along the street in the past – one simply hooked up to a fire hydrant – but Schulte noticed its absence this week.

The fountain was first installed there in the summer of 2015, after advocate Sybil Rowe pushed city hall to do so after reading a story in this newspaper about Surrey Urban Mission requesting water bottle donations.

On Wednesday, Schulte says there are “more bodies than ever” in the tent city along 135A Street.

“People everywhere.”

homelessphoto

(An April 24 photo of the tent city on 135A Street Schulte posted to her Facebook account.)

Asked if the city would be installing the fountain soon, Surrey bylaw manager Jas Rehal said “we are always taking action when dealing with extreme weather conditions” and “specifically, for the water fountain, we will be looking at it in conjunction with the modular housing coming online.”

He’s referring to the 160 units of modular housing for the homeless that are currently under construction on three properties in Whalley (see story on page 16).

See also: Construction underway for Surrey modular housing for homeless

This isn’t the first time Schulte has urged to city to put the drinking fountain back.

Last June, she launched a petition calling after she noticed the city hadn’t set up for the summer. She garnered roughly 800 signatures.

Schulte was thrilled when, in late July, the water fountain returned.

See also: Petition launched calling for Surrey to install water fountain for homeless on Strip June 26, 2017

See more: VIDEO: Advocate thrilled water fountain for homeless put back on Surrey’s 135A Street, Aug. 2, 2017

Last year, Schulte said she was concerned for the lives of those living along the embattled street as high temperatures persisted.

“The threat of heat stroke is a huge concern as there is little to no shade along the street,” she said at the time. “Members of the homeless population have said they would step up and ensure it’s kept clean if supplies were left available to them.

“They were out of energy,” she said last summer. “They were lying on the ground. People with heat stroke. People really, really sunburnt. We go overseas and we do wells for third-world countries to get them access to fresh water. Although there’s a sink inside the front room there’s 200 or more people on this Strip.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

Crime in Surrey dropped by four per cent in 2018 from 2017, city’s top cop says

Surrey RCMP OIC sharing the news with council Monday as city transitions to city police force

Child struck because driver didn’t clear ice from windshield, say Delta police

The child wasn’t seriously hurt and the driver was ticketed for driving with an obstructed view

MINTY: ‘Opening the Doors’ at Surrey gallery with local artist Joanne Dennis

Also, a called for submissions in Arts Council of Surrey’s ‘Just Gates’ exhibition

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read