Burnaby extreme weather homeless shelter opens

The arrival of cold weather has meant the opening for the third time this winter of Burnaby's extreme weather shelter.

The shelter opened its doors at its new location at the Westminster Bible Chapel, 7540 Sixth St., on Dec. 30 to Jan. 1 as overnight temperatures dipped below freezing. It operates from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to give the homeless a warm, dry place to sleep as well as a meal.

The shelter, which is run by the Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness and the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, moved to Sixth Street two years ago from its former location at St. Francis de Sales church near Sperling and Kingsway.

Last year's mild winter meant it was only used by six or seven people on the 23 nights it opened. But Dave Brown of the Lookout Society said he expects the shelter to be busier this year, especially as people become more aware of its new location. It's been open eight nights so far this season.

Notices of the shelter's opening are provided to social service agencies, local libraries and community centers.

The shelter is staffed mostly by volunteers, who are always on the lookout for more help as well as donations of non-perishable pre-packaged food and warm clothing.

To volunteer, call Kevan Oxley, 604-515-2728. To donate food or clothing, contact Dave Brown, 778-288-8887.

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