White Rock’s extreme-weather shelter open ‘until further notice’

Overnight guests at Star of the Sea Hall expected to increase as temperature dips

With temperatures forecast to dip below zero – and stay there for the next few days, at least – volunteers with White Rock’s extreme-weather shelter hit the streets Tuesday morning to share word of a warm place to hunker down.

Shelter co-ordinator Joan McMurtry said a pair of volunteers were spending “a couple of hours” posting advisories around town that the shelter will be open “until further notice,” effective tonight (Nov. 26).

The notices, aimed at reaching the community’s most vulnerable, share the shelter’s location and hours: 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. at Star of the Sea Hall (15262 Pacific Ave.).

“We’ve got a great system,” McMurtry said of the concerted effort that kicks in whenever extreme-weather events are forecast or temperatures dip close to zero.

Operated by Peninsula United Church, the shelter has already opened “four or five” times this season, with as many as 17 people coming to stay.

McMurtry expects those numbers to increase in the days ahead.

“This week, I think we’ll begin to build,” she said. “It’s the coldest that we’ve had.”

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Monday afternoon advising of the impending mercury drop.

READ MORE: Subzero temperatures coming to Lower Mainland

A rush of Arctic air is expected to hit the coast by Wednesday night, pushing temperatures to -5 and -10C as the week goes on. In White Rock, the chilliest night of the week is to be Saturday, at -5C.

Tonight (Tuesday), the low is forecast to be 4C; Wednesday is to dip to zero; followed by -3C on Thursday, and -4C on Friday.

The White Rock shelter has room for 25. While it exceeded capacity on a couple of the 90 nights it opened last season, McMurtry said there are no plans to add beds.

READ MORE: Health of White Rock shelter guests highlight need for ‘other remedies’ to homelessness: officials

The volunteer roster is also at a comfortable level, she said, with 60 people signed on to help – including about 15 new faces – as well as a waitlist.

“It’s a very good problem to have,” she said of the community’s interest in helping.

“People are very genuine and very concerned about what’s happening in the community.”

For more information about the shelter, email McMurtry at jkmcm@telus.net or call 604-531-2979.

Just Posted

South Surrey couple donates $1M to hospital’s children’s centre campaign

Donation brings hospital foundation’s fundraising goal within $1 million

The Surrey Hospice Society’s Toolbox thrift store reopens in Cloverdale

Before she fell ill, Janet Child revamped second-hand tool store

Prolific offender nabbed at Surrey SkyTrain after police say he skipped paying fare

Officers arrested Reginald Simon at Scott Road SkyTrain after discovering he had 11 outstanding warrants

Death threat related to unsolved Surrey murder posted at major city intersection

Bradley Kline, 26, of Newton was murdered on Dec. 7, 2018

Surrey’s new top cop is White Rock resident Brian Edwards

A transition plan will see Edwards start in his new job on Jan. 6

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Most Read