LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) – As Metro Vancouver reaches bone-chilling temperatures, advocates are growing worried about homeless people literally freezing to death.
One volunteer group in Langley that feeds people on the streets says it’s time to get a roof over everyone’s head.
“We all have warm places to be in, we all have safe places and they don’t and they’re judged, they’re all judged,” says Kimberly Snow with Kimz Angels. “They’re not all drug addicts, they’re not all alcoholics, they’re people like you and I.”
While efforts have been made to get people into warm places with more shelter spaces opening up, Snow said there are still hundreds out there on the streets.
“Shelters are there, but there’s so many homeless that there’s not enough shelters for the homeless,” she told NEWS 1130. “We should really do something together to get them off the streets — especially with this cold weather. I mean, where do they go?”
Please share: Due to cold weather, the City is opening warming centres tonight and tomorrow night (Nov 28 and 29). We appreciate your help sharing this information with those who may need it. EWR shelters are also open. For details, see tables below: pic.twitter.com/Wj9C6hKClV
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) November 28, 2019
And the number of people becoming homeless is growing, Snow said.
“We need to have, basically I’m going to call them safe homes, for them to be warm this winter. They have no where to go, they’re sleeping on the streets, and you hear it on the news or you read it in the paper, ‘homeless freezing to death.'”
Snow added volunteers, handing out blankets and food, feel like they’re being spread thin, trying to help everyone, especially as more people gravitate towards bushes for warmth.
She is calling on cities and the province to open up any of the many empty buildings in the region to those living on the streets.
“That’s all they’re asking for, is a safe place to live in. They’re not asking for anything fancy,” Snow said. “We have so many empty buildings that there’s always rules why they can’t put them in there. You know what? They’re on the street, so if you tell them ‘Oh, no, the buildings are not safe,’ are the streets safe?”
Meteorologist Russ Lacate is calling for unseasonably chilly conditions across Metro Vancouver in the coming days.
Bright & beautiful, but unseasonably #chilly across Metro #Vancouver today & Saturday. Cloudier at times but still dry for early #December. Precipitation returns later next week, with rain for the lowlands but #snow on the #ski hills! pic.twitter.com/iiItT86Gm5
— Russ Lacate (@NEWS1130Weather) November 29, 2019
The temperature dipped to a windchill of -10 degrees on Friday morning.