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Winter Weather Response for People Experiencing Homelessness

About the Extreme Weather Response

The Provincial Extreme Weather Response (EWR) program provides homeless people with access to a warm, dry place to sleep during extreme weather conditions over the winter.

EWR shelters open only when an ‘Extreme Weather Alert’ is called - when the weather threatens the health or safety of homeless people.

Temporary EWR shelters generally operate in churches and community agencies. People are provided with a mat and bedding. EWR shelters are only open overnight, usually sometime between 7pm and 11pm until 7am.

Find a shelter

Call 211 for information and availability, or access BC211’s list of shelters online.

Find a Shelter Map

How Extreme Weather Alerts Are Called

An extreme weather alert is called when weather conditions are severe enough that the life or health of homeless people are threatened. This can include:

  • Temperatures at or below 0 degrees Celsius.
  • Significant snow accumulation or sleet / freezing rain.
  • Significant windstorms that may be a dance for people living in wooded areas or makeshift shelters.
  • Periods of extended heavy rain that make it difficult for people to keep dry.

The EWR alert goes out to service providers, as well as first responders, Fraser Health and others that may interact with homeless people.

When the weather improves, the Extreme Weather Alert is ‘deactivated’ and the temporary EWR shelter spaces are closed.

Extreme Weather Shelters in Surrey

The following organizations will be providing EWR shelter spaces over the 2018-2019 winter. Extreme Winter shelters are only open when an Extreme Weather Alert is called.

  • Pacific Community Church - 5337 180 Street (Cloverdale) – 25 mats for men and women
  • Peninsula United Church - Star of the Sea Church hall - 15262 Pacific Avenue (White Rock/South Surrey) – 25 mats for men and women
  • Pacific Community Services Resources Society -  10453 Whalley Boulevard (City Centre) – 10 mats for youth
  • Nightshift Ministries – 10635 King George Boulevard (City Centre) – 15 mats for women
  • Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre – 13639 108 Avenue (City Centre) – 16 mats for men and women
  • Phoenix Centre – 13686 94a Avenue (City Centre) – 15 mats for men and women

Learn more about the Extreme Weather Program.