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'They're sleeping in bushes, on the streets': Advocate says homeless suffering in this cold weather

Last Updated Feb 20, 2019 at 9:28 am PST

(iStock Photo)
Summary

'They just want a roof over their heads ... They're not asking for much.'

Homeless advocate estimates about 300 people sleeping outside in Langley

LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) – If you think three weeks of cold is wearing you down, imagine being homeless.

An advocate in Langley says people on the streets are freezing because of a lack of shelter beds.  There’s still half a foot of snow on the ground in parts of that city.

Every day, Kimberly Snow visits Langley’s homeless.

“You know when people are judging and they’re going, ‘Oh, that’s what they want’? No one wants to be in the freezing,” she said.

Snow is the co-founder of Kimz Angels. She brings clothes, food, and essentials to those who need it most.

“They’re saying nobody cares and they’re really frustrated. They just want a roof over their heads. That’s all they want. They’re not asking for much.”

RELATED: Cold weather more than an inconvenience to those on the streets

The last three weeks of cold, wet and snowy weather have been extremely difficult for those who have nowhere to go.

Snow estimates about 300 people are sleeping outside every night. “Honestly, it’s really, really bad out there. I wish more people would be aware. These people have nowhere to go in the cold and they are freezing to death … They’re sleeping in the bushes, on the streets.”

“These people are like working poor that end up on the streets. This could be any of us, paycheque to paycheque.”

Snow says there’s an urgent need for new shelter beds. While some in the community have stepped up to help, she wants to see more commitment from the province.

“You hear about … $10-million here or whatever it is — where is it? Who’s seeing it? We sure aren’t.”

Two weeks ago, Langley Vineyard Church opened its doors to provide space for a day shelter so people can rest and warm up.

The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope facility is the city’s only overnight shelter. It offers 32 shelter beds, 30 permanent mats, and 15 extreme weather spaces during cold weather events.

 – With files from Martin MacMahon