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Where do they go? Homeless advocates calls for more shelters amid cold snap

Last Updated Nov 29, 2019 at 1:34 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

With temperatures dipping across Metro Vancouver, some advocates are calling for more to be done to help homeless

Some people say they're growing worried about homeless people literally freezing to death on the streets

Advocate is calling on cities, province to do more to help those most vulnerable, like by offering up more shelter space

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?”


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.

The temperature dipped to a windchill of -10 degrees on Friday morning.