While temperatures drop this evening, The West End Community Centre will remain open as a warming shelter once again.
Vancouver Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe says this location has been helping homeless who are not able to go to the Britannia shelter on the other side of the city.
The announcement is in the wake of the Creekside Community Centre closing as a shelter after reports surfaced that a hypodermic needle had been found.
Wiebe says they’ve beefed up security at the facility.
“So we’ll have two police officers, there’s two park board rangers, there’s a person from social services from the City of Vancouver, our youth worker Jody will be there, we’ll have multiple volunteers there, we’ll have two cleaners, so there’s quite the support staff.”
He says while there were only a few people that needed shelter last night, he expects more this round.
“They’ll let their friends know for tonight, so I definitely think the word will be spread, so there will be more there tonight than there were last night.”
As for moving forward, Wiebe says it all depends on the weather and Social Services evaluating the situation day by day.
Earlier this week, NPA Park Board Commissioners presented a motion aimed at scrapping the community centre warming program, saying staff were untrained and over-burdened, and pointing to safety issues around drug paraphernalia.
That motion failed with the board deadlocked 3-3.