The City of White Rock has received a $320,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) Strengthening Communities’ Services program to operate a daytime warming shelter during the winter of 2022 – 2023. This funding will allow the City of White Rock to build on the success of its daytime warming shelter pilot project undertaken earlier this year.
White Rock’s daytime warming shelter pilot project provided people experiencing homelessness with protection from extreme weather in addition to other critical services. It operated from February – March 2022 and was open on days in conjunction with the nearby emergency overnight shelter at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Project outcomes supported critical community needs that have been identified by local governments, including expanding shelter capacity and outreach teams, improving public health and safety information, connecting people to services, and providing training in culturally safe and trauma-informed responses.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding to assist our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said White Rock Mayor, Darryl Walker. “Beyond providing a warm, safe refuge during extreme cold snaps, the daytime warming shelter also serves as a connector to other essential services such as health and personal care and mental health resources. Making these connections is a critical piece to helping people access the help they need.”
Specific outcomes from White Rock’s pilot project included:
- Assisting a total of 622 visits over 34 days (an average of 18 individuals/day).
- Providing over 1,700 meals/snacks and 28 hot showers to meet the immediate basic needs of food, water, and a warm place of shelter guests.
- Connecting six (6) individuals to permanent/transitional housing.
- Facilitating family reunification and return to work for some shelter guests.
- Connecting shelter guests with external health and social services including 32 counselling sessions and addressing urgent medical needs of the shelter guests.
- Reducing complaints from local businesses regarding homeless people.
The funding comes via the provincial government’s Strengthening Communities’ Services program, which is administered by UBCM to help local governments increase services in response to homelessness made worse by the pandemic.