Councillor Vera LeFranc beams outside Surrey’s winter shelter in 2015, before it opened. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Councillor Vera LeFranc beams outside Surrey’s winter shelter in 2015, before it opened. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Surrey extends Whalley shelter’s lease

On Monday night, Surrey council voted to extend the temporary shelter’s lease to 2020

WHALLEY — Surrey council has extended the lease for Whalley’s temporary Boulevard Shelter to May 31, 2020.

The site, at 10677 Whalley Boulevard in an old Dell Beer and Wine store, opened as a winter shelter in December, 2015.

That was after Surrey went without a winter shelter for two years.

“It’s very exciting,” Councilor Vera LeFranc said at the time. “It’s really great news … . Winter shelters save lives.”

It was later decided the Boulevard Shelter would operate year round.

See more: Surrey looks to make winter shelter operational all year

See more: ‘Miracles’ are happening inside Surrey’s new winter shelter

The 6,700-square-foot building was renovated before opening, and has operated as a shelter ever since.

In February of this year, council approved an extension for the temporary shelter, through to May 31, 2018.

On Monday night, city council voted to extend it once again, to 2020.

As BC Housing covers operating costs of the operation, the city will now apply for operational funding for the same period of time.

LeFranc said council was “really pleased” to extend the lease.

“We are thrilled we can continue to have Boulevard Shelter there because they do such great work,” she told the Now-Leader. “Winter shelters have been open year round because of the high need, and they’ve had great success from the Boulevard Shelter in moving people on to housing.”

LeFranc said Surrey is trying to address the housing shortage, as well.

“We’re trying to bring in modular and temporary housing before winter sets in, but the Boulevard Shelter is an important component of the shelter we provide.”

In late September, Premier John Horgan announced Surrey would be getting 150 modular housing units to help house its homeless population, and another 600 for Vancouver.

“Staff are working so hard on that,” LeFranc said when asked when those would be arriving. “We have to identify pieces of property and we also have to service those properties so you’ll see those announcement rolled out over the next couple of months.

“I just hope this winter isn’t as cold as last year,” she added.

See also: Premier announces 150 modular housing units for Surrey’s homeless

See more: Count finds 49 per cent more homeless people in Surrey

See also: Extreme weather shelters in Surrey open early

The 2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless count found 602 homeless people in Surrey, which is a 49 per cent increase from the last count in 2014.

Of the hundreds counted in Surrey, 114 were seniors.

While the city has extreme weather shelters, they’re only open at night, meaning the homeless have to leave and spend their whole day outside.

Surrey and White Rock extreme weather shelters were called to open early this month.

While the emergency program officially runs from Nov. 1 to March 31, emergency shelter beds opened for four nights during a rainy storm in late October.

All told, there are 60 extreme weather spots available this year, called to open when temperatures dip low or extended rainfall. They are in addition to the city’s permanent shelters.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 2019 photo of the site of what is now The Cove Shelter, which is operated by Surrey Urban Mission Society. Crews were working inside of this corner unit just days before it officially opened. (File photo: Lauren Collins)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey shelter as 17 people test positive

SUMS executive director says ‘it’s a group that we really have to work hard to protect’

South Surrey’s Kevin McAlpin is hoping to reunite this 50-year-old wedding ring with its rightful owner. (Contributed photo)
Owner of 50-year-old wedding band found near Peace Arch Park sought

Recovered ring ‘is important to somebody,’ says finder

These three orbs in a triangular formation were spotted in the skies above Abbotsford/Aldergrove on Dec. 1. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Alleged UFO sighting in Abbotsford/Aldergrove

Footage from Dec. 1 shows three orbs in triangle formation in the skies

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read