Delta’s second extreme weather response (EWR) shelter opened in North Delta last week.
The new facility, located at New Hope Church (11838 88th Ave.), opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday (Dec. 15), providing refuge for up to 15 people during periods of extreme winter weather that can threaten the health and safety of individuals experiencing homelessness.
The shelter is open nightly from 9:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. whenever the Homelessness Services Association of BC issues an extreme weather alert, through to the end of March. Extreme weather alert activation criteria include temperatures below zero, high winds and/or heavy rainfall.
Due to freezing overnight temperatures in the forecast for the next several days, the North Delta shelter, as well as its counterpart in South Delta, will remain open through to at least Monday (Dec. 27).
Guests at the shelter will be provided a hot meal at night and breakfast to go in the morning, along with fresh socks, toiletries and other essential items. As well, those who stay at the shelter will be offered bus tickets and gift cards when they leave.
The site is pet friendly, though animals must be on a leash or in a kennel while in the building, and can accommodate couples. The building, however, is not wheelchair accessible and does not offer showers, laundry facilities or cart storage onsite.
To contact the North Delta ERW shelter, call 604-970-4150.
The EWR shelter program in North Delta is a partnership between New Hope Church, operator Phoenix Society, the City of Delta and BC Housing. Situated on the border of Delta and Surrey, the church is a prime location to support temporary emergency shelter services due to its proximity to the Scott Road corridor and public transit, according to a press release.
“New Hope Church is committed to caring for our neighbours, offering hospitality, nourishment, friendship and hope. We are pleased to work with a professional non-profit partner to help support this much needed emergency program,” Pastor Wayne Driedger said in a press release.
Shelter operator Phoenix Society has extensive experience running EWR shelters, including two previous seasons in Surrey and last year in Coquitlam. This winter, the society also began operating a 15-mat shelter in Port Moody (the only EWR facility in the city), which sees an average of eight to 10 guests per night.
“Phoenix Society is very excited to see the City of Delta, New Hope Church and BC Housing making this vital service possible in the North Delta community for the first time, an area that currently has no emergency shelter facilities,” Phoenix Society CEO Keir Macdonald said in a press release. “A series of recent storms have been bearing down on B.C., causing major safety concerns for unhoused individuals, and freezing temperatures are on the way. We look forward to welcoming the first guests into this shelter.”
Delta Mayor George Harvie said the city is extremely pleased to see a new emergency weather shelter established to service the North Delta community.
“Creating a North Delta shelter has been a key priority for Delta council to help address homelessness and support vulnerable residents with temporary, emergency housing,” Harvie said in a press release. “We very much appreciate the dedicated work of city staff and community partners — including Phoenix Society, New Hope Church, the Homelessness Services Association of BC and BC Housing — who helped bring this important initiative to fruition.”
Now that everything is up and running, the shelter is looking for donations of jackets, gloves, winter boots and other items. Those wishing to contribute can email firstname.lastname@example.org or donate online at https://donate-can.keela.co/extreme-weather-shelter.
Anyone looking to volunteer at the shelter can email email@example.com for more info.
The shelter at New Hope Church is the second to open its doors in the city. The first, located at Ladner United Church (4960 48th Ave.), opened its doors in 2017 and has since served dozens of people every November through March, offering them a warm and dry place to sleep as well as breakfast, coffee, showers and laundry services.
The facility, which is operated by Options Community Services and funded by BC Housing, is open overnight from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. whenever an extreme weather alert is issued. The shelter currently has room for up to five people and can accommodate couples.
The shelter is also pet friendly, though animals must be on a leash or in a kennel while in the building.
The building is not wheelchair accessible, however, and does not offer cart storage onsite.
To contact the South Delta ERW shelter, call 604-599-8900.
For shelter availability, call or text bc211 at 211, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or live chat at bc211.ca/bc211chat.
For more information on shelters in Delta, visit delta.ca/community-culture/social-planning/shelters-delta.
For information about emergency supports and community services in Delta, the city has published the You Matter to Delta Pocket Guide. The guide, last updated in July, is available at delta.ca/community-culture/social-planning/social-services-infrastructure.