A controversial warming centre for homeless people will re-open at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre tonight.
In a statement, Park Board chair Michael Wiebe says he’s pleased that staff have decided to re-open.
He adds the location is important, because the Britannia Shelter is too far away.
“It’s tough for the people in the west end, or people from the parks around there, to travel all the way to the former Holiday Inn that was opened up, or Carnegie, and they don’t want to get down to the middle of the downtown east side.”
Wiebe says it’s tough for them to move their stuff across the city.
“They don’t want to be in a very crowded, busy place in the downtown because a lot of them have social issues or mental health issues.”
The move comes after a heated special Park Board meeting last night, in which NPA commissioners put forward a motion to scrap the program in the city’s community centres.
That, after parents raised concerns when a child was exposed to a hypodermic needle at one of the community centres earlier this week, and officials with the West End Community Centre Association complained staff weren’t trained and equipped to deal with the homeless.
Wiebe says a final decision on the continued operation of that particular warming centre will be made over the weekend.
Earlier this week, the city said its warming centre program had seen more than 2,000 visits since the cold snap began.