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South Surrey Recreation Centre to host overnight shelter for unhoused

With a total of 45 spaces, shelter will run during extreme weather alerts
South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre will be hosting the new site for the area’s unhoused population this winter. (File photo)

Semiahmoo Peninsula’s homeless population has a overnight shelter available in the area — during this winter’s extreme weather alerts only.

To be held at South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre at 14601 20 Ave., the overnight shelter has not yet been open this season, but is expected to be during the next extreme weather alert, when it is issued by Environment Canada, according to the city’s website.

“There is an urgent need for shelter in South Surrey during extreme weather,” the website says.

During operation, the shelter will be open from 10 p.m. till 7 a.m. and will accept visitors until capacity is reached, which is for 45 individuals. The shelter is being run by Options Community Services and BC Housing.

This winter there is an increase in shelter space available on the Peninsula, compared to the past couple of years, when need outstripped capacity.

For example, during last year’s icy weather that saw several snow days, the overnight shelters — at Mount Olive Lutheran Church first, then Kwomais Lodge — saw upwards of 40 people attempting to use the space, where 25 spots had been allocated.

While the shelters did often reach capacity, the extra folks were typically let in, but reportedly, did not have a mat to sleep on.

The recreation centre’s shelter will be open to adults age 19 and older, will accommodate couples and is pet-friendly, the city’s site notes.

The space is also wheelchair accessible, while some other Surrey shelters are not, such as Nightshift Ministries and Surrey Welcome Hub, both in Whalley.

Entrance to the shelter is near the lower parking lot on the southeast corner of the rec centre.

Guests of the space will also get access to meals, gift cards and transit passes.

READ MORE: Shelters turning people away as not enough beds open in Surrey for homeless

Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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