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New Westminster homeless shelter fears coldest night of the year

Last Updated Feb 10, 2021 at 8:16 pm PDT

Summary

The Lower Mainland is expected to have some of the coldest temperatures of the year Wednesday night

The cold temperatures have local homeless advocates concerned for people who might be sleeping outside

VANCOUVER (CityNews) — Wednesday night in the Lower Mainland is expected to experience some of the year’s coldest temperatures, which means a dangerous situation for the homeless, according to a member of the Lookout Society.

Engagement Manager David Brown is extremely concerned about people who may spend the evening sleeping outside.

“It’s been tough. We’ve been dealing with homelessness for a long time. This just adds to it and just makes it that much more difficult for people,” he tells CityNews.

Up to 10 additional beds have been opened in New Westminster at the Lookout Housing and Health Society because of the cold weather.

But Brown says it’s never enough since “It does get filled up pretty fast.”

Temperatures are dropping quickly in Metro Vancouver and meteorologist Michael Kuss says it’s the wind that’s really bringing in the blast of cold weather.

“[Over Wednesday night], it’s definitely going to be the coldest day of the year. Temperatures dropping down to -8 to -9 degrees. That’s only part of the story, the records -6.7 [degrees], so we’ll get that record it looks like. But with the winds, that’s the big story. Arctic outflow warning is in place and those winds could be 40, 50 kilometres per hour, giving us wind chills of -15 to -25 degrees,” Kuss explains.

RELATED: Already-cold temperatures dip further on Lower Mainland

For many of those who work with the Lookout Society, they won’t be getting very much sleep Wednesday night as they head out in search of anyone in need.

“We have folks that go around and other outreach and service providers who walk around and if they see somebody and they appear to be street entrench … we will try and hook them in, give them what they need,” Brown adds.

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