Peace Portal Alliance Church. (Google Streetview image)

Temporary shelter established at South Surrey’s Peace Portal Alliance

Church and Options Community Services society aim to keep homeless safe during pandemic

A new temporary shelter for the homeless in White Rock and South Surrey has been established at Peace Portal Alliance Church.

Rev. Joan McMurtry, who has been working as an independent community advocate for a temporary shelter during the pandemic, announced that the shelter, managed by Options Community Services society in collaboration with the church, was open as of Wednesday night.

The shelter will be open at the church (located at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, with entry from the back of the building on the boulevard side) every night from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. until June 30.

The shelter offers a safe place to sleep for those who have been forced to sleep outside, for whatever reason. Also provided is food, showers and access to information about other resources.

The society notes that guests will be required to physical distance, and will be offered a disposable surgical mask. In the case that coughing or other COVID-19 symptoms are observed, guests will be required to wear a mask and will be referred to medical support.

Options, funded through BC Housing, already operates shelters in the Fleetwood and Cloverdale areas.

READ MORE: https://www.peacearchnews.com/news/white-rock-council-mulls-help-for-homeless/

“This was initiated by Options to address issues around the pandemic, to provide a safe place for people to spend the night during the current crisis,” McMurtry told Peace Arch News.

“There are other temporary facilities that are more medical shelters, focused on people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 – but this one is for regular folks, to give them somewhere safe to stay.”

McMurtry said thanks are due to Peace Portal Alliance elders and staff – including local and global engagement pastor Jon LeFave – for stepping up to provide the church’s gymnasium for the temporary shelter, and the Source White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank for providing food and other assistance.

She also credited the City of White Rock for helping advocate for a local shelter after council, on staff advice, rejected Options’ proposal to use White Rock Community Centre for the purpose.

McMurtry, who is on the steering committee of the Peninsula Homeless to Housing Task Force, traces her involvement in offering shelter facilities for the most vulnerable in the community back some 14 years, to when the extreme weather shelter was opened at White Rock First United Church while she was pastor there.

“It’s my passion,” she said. “I work with whoever is trying to make it happen.”

READ MORE: City of White Rock to study transitional shelter for homeless

The extreme weather shelter moved to Star of the Sea Roman Catholic church for two years after White Rock First United Church was demolished for site redevelopment, but McMurtry noted Star of the Sea will not be available for the shelter next winter.

She said Peninsula United Church and Options will continue to looking for a new site for that for the next couple of years, as well as trying to identify another site for a year-round shelter.

For more information on the temporary shelter, call Options at 604-599-8900.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusHomelessSurreyWhite Rock

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

Just Posted

Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working vacuumed a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Nest of ‘murder hornets’ found near South Surrey

String of traps set up along border to capture Asian giant hornets

Construction of Douglas College's Surrey Campus in 1970. (Photo: Douglas College Archives)
PHOTOS: Douglas College’s Surrey roots at a B.C.-first campus in 1970

The official date of the Douglas/Kwantlen split was April 1, 1981

B.C.’s parliament building, Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
ZYTARUK: Votes come at a premium price. Time to pay the tab

Promises are rained upon the voting public much like confetti being blasted from the maw of a cannon, or particles of ash spewn from an erupting volcano

Loretta Hibbs (right), founder and president of Surrey-based City Dream Centre, with Kelly Voros (foreground), the organization's executive administrator. (submitted photo)
‘Pumpkin patch’ brought to Surrey inner-city schools where COVID cancelled field trips

Work done by volunteers with Surrey-based City Dream Centre

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

It’s been eight years since Gordon Spencer (pictured), and cousin, ‘Lil’ Bruce Mayo, were gunned down in a home in Langley, and Spencer’s widow is hoping someone who knows something will step up (file)
Eight years on and still no answers in Langley double murder

Wife of victim makes public appeal for people with information to come forward

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Langley resident Shaun Nugent, who died in 2019 shortly after he saved a swimmer from drowning, has been awarded a posthumous medal for bravery by the Royal Canadian Humane Association (Courtesy Nugent family)
Langley man who died after saving swimmer receives posthumous medal for bravery

Shaun Nugent rescued woman from Hayward Lake near Mission in July of 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read