Langley's Gateway of Hope shelter's extreme weather beds were open for the first time this season on Wednesday night. The shelter, operated by the Salvation Army, has issued a call for new socks, underwear and razors, for both men and women.

Gateway opens emergency shelter beds as heavy rain falls

Call issued for new socks, underwear and razors; volunteers needed to lay out mats, fold blankets

The first official Extreme Weather Alert was issued for Langley on Wednesday night, due to the excessive amount of rain that has fallen this week.

More than 50mm was expected to fall in a 24-hour period. The Gateway of Hope was gearing up on Wednesday afternoon, expecting an additional 10 to 15 people looking to escape the elements. That’s on top of 62 shelter spots already being used.

“We could top 100 people in this building tonight,” said Cameron Eggie, Gateway of Hope’s residential services manager. “We’ve been 100 per cent full most days in October, minus a few days where we were at 96 to 98 per cent full.”

But the shelter will not turn anyone away during this Extreme Weather Alert, he stressed.

“We will make room,” he said.

During the provincially-directed extreme weather alerts, emails go out to around 150 Langley businesses and public spaces, like libraries and community centres, so they can share the information with individuals in need and put up posters.

The posters indicate that people in need of shelter can call Langley RCMP, who will help get them to the Gateway of Hope.

Eggie said Langley Vineyard holds a Wednesday morning breakfast and clothing collection for the homeless.

Their staff will notify everyone of the extra mats. Outreach workers were going out to areas where flooding could occur and individuals are known to camp.

Eggie said they go through a lot of resources when they are this busy at the shelter.

“Individuals will come in soaking wet from head to toe, so we do a lot of laundry. We also give them fresh socks and underwear, both of which we are in short supply of.”

Often, people will come to the shelter in clothing that is in such disrepair it has to be thrown out.

Last month, Langley City brokered a deal with the province to open an additional 30 mats, in an effort to shelter people living at the large homeless camp on the Nicomekl floodplain at 208 Street.  That area is subject to flooding. The camp was evacuated on Oct. 15 when a large windstorm came through, said Eggie. Shelter staff have identified 20 people who came from the 208 Street camp.

Several new, smaller camps have since popped up around Langley.

Eggie has worked at the Gateway of Hope since 2011 and has watched the growth of poverty and homelessness in Langley.

“The level of need is greater than ever before,” he said. They are looking to the upcoming Metro Vancouver homeless count on March 8, 2017 to learn how many more people are counted as   homeless in Langley compared to the last count in 2014. At that time, volunteers said there was a decrease, when they located 92 people who were homeless in Langley and Aldergrove. Many outreach services, said that figure didn’t reflect the true number of homeless.

In the meantime, they are asking for donations of socks and underwear for both men and women as well as razors. There is also an opportunity to volunteer with the Emergency Alert nights, by folding blankets, putting out mats, etc.

For more information call Gateway of Hope at 604-514-7375.


Just Posted

VIDEO: RCMP investigate after more than one vehicle torched at Aldergrove home

Neighbours are getting worried after second arson in a month

City councillor “floored” by provincial position on sharing pot tax revenue

Gayle Martin says B.C. municipalities have to keep fighting to get their share

VIDEO: Serious crash in Langley (updated)

Fraser closed near 232 street

Langley School District replaces fountains with water bottle filling stations

After lead found in water, district installs filtering system

Abattoir proposal has south Langley residents on edge

Opponents to poultry slaughterhouse application say aquifer could be at risk

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Lower Mainland rabbits confirmed killed by highly-infectious virus

Feral colony on Annacis Island in Delta died from hemorrhagic disease. Pet rabbits could be at risk

LETTER: Coun. Fox replies to ‘tree protection’ critics

As the mover of the motion at the March 19th Township Council meeting, I feel compelled to respond

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read