With an expected cold front hitting this region by the weekend, Surrey is opening its extreme weather shelters with a new call for help: “Bring us cough drops.”
Peter Fedos, who heads the city’s cold weather response, said Tuesday he’s opening up 90 beds at three locations starting Friday, as he expects the mercury to drop below freezing.
“I’m looking at minus-three weather Friday night, minus-two Saturday and Sunday,” Fedos said. “I’m at the point where I have to pay attention to weather 14 days ahead to see what’s coming up.”
Over the weekend there will be 60 beds available at Surrey Urban Mission, 13388 104 Ave., 15 in at Cloverdale Christian Fellowship, #102-17802 66 Ave. and 15 at First United Church, 15385 Semiahmoo Ave.
This year, there’s a new request coming from service providers.
“What’s come up in discussion with the groups is cough drops are a huge thing,” Fedos said. “If they’re sucking on them, they’re not coughing and keeping people awake.”
And for many, it’s the only relief they get from their cough all day, he said.
As far as how many are required, Fedos said “as many as people can bring.”
People are encouraged to drop them off at Hyland House (6595 King George Blvd.), where they’ll be distributed to other shelters.
“This is something they’re going to need all through the season until April,” Fedos said.
In addition to the cough drops, shelters are also asking for gloves, socks, toques and blankets that are washable (not wool and not quilts).