Burnaby's extreme-weather shelter slept a total of 13 people over the holidays.
"We were open for 10 nights, and we provided space for 13 people," said Karen O'Shannacery, executive director for Lookout Emergency Aid Society.
Burnaby has no permanent, year-round homeless shelter, but Lookout runs an extreme-weather shelter out of the Westminster Bible Chapel in the Edmonds area. The shelter only opens when the weather is cold or wet enough to pose a risk to human health, and this holiday season, it was open for 10 days, including Dec. 30, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
"You never know when it's going to be extreme weather, so you need to be able to set it up at the drop of a hat," she said.
The shelter can sleep up to 27 people, according to O'Shannacery. There are no beds, just mats that can be set up on the church's floor.
According to O'Shannacery, libraries, city hall, emergency services and any agencies that deal with homeless people are alerted when the shelter is open to help spread the word.
"Even so, we know there are people who fall between the cracks," she said. "It's very, very difficult when it's so erratic."
Westminster Bible Chapel is at 7540, Sixth St. For more on Lookout, go to www.lookoutsociety.ca.
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