Unhoused residents are at an increased risk of harm during cold or snowy weather. (Black Press Media file photo)

Unhoused residents are at an increased risk of harm during cold or snowy weather. (Black Press Media file photo)

Salvation Army responds to extreme weather in B.C., readies temporary shelters

Support organization concerned for at-risk residents provincewide

The Salvation Army is responding to extreme weather across the province by preparing to activate a number of emergency weather response shelters.

Cold, wet and snowy conditions are on the horizon, and some parts of the province could even see up to 70 centimetres of snow this week. As a result, the charity organization is “concerned for the overall health and safety of British Columbians.”

“The cold weather is especially hard on people living on the streets,” Salvation Army spokesperson Patricia Mamic said in a media release. “Many of these individuals already deal with health conditions that can be worsened and even become fatal when the temperature drops drastically.”

Extreme weather response shelter is provided on a night-by-night basis. In addition to temporary shelter space, warming centres will be made available in some communities when temperatures fall below -5 C.

The City of Victoria is planning to provide daytime warming centres for those experiencing homelessness during extreme weather events. On nights where emergency shelter is activated, the co-ed Salvation Army A.R.C. shelter at 525 Johnson St. – as well as Our Place and Cool Aid – will have overnight spaces available.

Emergency weather alerts also permit Victoria police to voluntarily transport people experiencing homelessness to a shelter or order that they go to a shelter unescorted.

For a current list of temporary, permanent and extreme weather response shelters in B.C., visit the BC Housing website at smap.bchousing.org or call or text 211.

READ MORE: Salvation Army Victoria Citadel hosting annual holiday toy drive in Saanich

READ MORE: Freezing temperature forecast triggers emergency weather alert by Victoria homeless shelter


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