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Beds in a temporary shelter

Residents sleeping outside urged to visit Powell Street Getaway or extreme weather response shelters

January 9 2020 –

As temperatures drop this week, Powell Street Getaway – next to Oppenheimer Park - continues to open as a warming centre to ensure people have an option to come inside from the cold. Due to increased City of Vancouver funding, Powell Street Getaway has been open more frequently this winter, opening when the weather is 0 degrees instead of the previous threshold of -5 degrees. 

The Province, in conjunction with Homelessness Services Association of BC and community organizations,  also opens additional shelter spaces when extreme weather alerts are issued on evenings such as tonight when the temperature is 0 degrees or feels like 0. Details on these shelters are attached.

Additional warming centres open from January 12

Warming centres will be activated from Sunday, January 12 to Wednesday, January 15. All are welcome and people can bring their carts and pets. People with their own bedding may choose to sleep at the centres and hot drinks and snacks are available.

Warming centre locations

January 12 to 14:

  • Britannia Community Centre (Hours: 9pm to 8:30am)
  • Vancouver Aquatic Centre (Hours: 10pm to 6am)
  • Overdose Prevention Society (Hours: 11pm to 8am)

January 15

  • Britannia Community Centre (Hours: 9pm to 8:30am)
  • Overdose Prevention Society (Hours: 11pm to 8am )

The City urges anyone who is sleeping outside on a cold night to make use of facilities such as Powell Street Getaway or to call 2-1-1 to find out about available shelter spaces. 
Since the start of winter, warming centres including Powell Street Getaway have been open on 23 nights, with more than 2,600 visits. 

Are you concerned about someone sleeping outside?

If residents are concerned about an individual, they’re encouraged to check in with the person safely to see whether they want help, then direct them to a warming centre or EWR shelter (225 KB), or call 2-1-1. Members of the public who would like to donate warm clothing such as new socks, toques or gloves can call 2-1-1 to find out how.

During the day, those in need can also access low-cost meals and free shower and laundry facilities at Carnegie, Evelyne Saller, and Gathering Place community centres. These locations and other public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, are also available during their opening hours as spaces to warm up during extreme weather conditions.