An extreme weather alert was issued for Campbell River’s Evergreen Emergency Shelter for Feb. 9.
During cold snaps like the one today, it can be especially hard on community members who are experiencing homelessness. The Extreme Weather Alerts are issued as part of the Assistance to Shelter Act to ensure everyone who needs shelter has access.
This effectively re-opens the shelter, which has had to close due to staffing issues at different points over the winter.
“It has been challenging to recruit and retain qualified shelter staff during the pandemic. I have heard anecdotally from other agencies, that this is true all over the province. The result has, unfortunately, been that there have been times we have had to close the extreme weather shelter for a few days – however heartsick it makes us to think of people in the cold, wet and wind,” said Sue Moen, Supportive Housing Services Manager of the Salvation Army
During the alert, the Evergreen Emergency Shelter at 690 Evergreen Road will be providing spaces for those in need.
Campbell River, like much of the coast is experiencing an influx of arctic air that will bring the wind chill down to -7 degrees over the next few nights according to Environment Canada.
“Temperatures over Interior regions will be 10 to 20 degrees below the seasonal average, while coastal areas will be 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal, making for the coldest conditions seen this season,” reads the special weather statement from Environment Canada. “The frigid conditions will persist for the remainder of the week.”
The city is also under a snowfall warning.
This is the second time an alert was issued this winter.
“Staff have responded admirably to the latest Environment Canada weather alert and pulled together to get 10 or more people into warm, clean beds overnight. They can have a hot shower, get their laundry done and access dinner and breakfast. We have also created storage space if folks want to check in their camping and other belongings when they intend to access the shelter for more than one day so they don’t have to haul it around town while the shelter is closed,” Moen said.