UPDATE: CNW Homelessness Action Strategy

Virtual Community Event Feb 17, 2022 from 6:30 – 8:00

The City of New Westminster is developing a new Homelessness Action Strategy that will provide a five-year vision and plan for addressing homelessness. The previous strategy was foundational and contributed to a 58% reduction in unsheltered homelessness between 2008 and 2017. Recent events, including a housing affordability crisis, an opioid epidemic and a global pandemic, have all contributed to increasing homelessness, and prompted the need for collective action.

The development of the strategy has involved people with lived and living experience of homelessness, business associations, resident groups, and service providers, and this is your opportunity to learn more about this important issue, to shape the strategy, and to be part of the solution.

Please join us virtually on February 17, 2022 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm for a panel discussion, followed by a question and answer session and small group discussions. A community survey will be launched after the event as well.

The panel discussion will be an opportunity to hear from local service providers, individuals with lived experience of homelessness, and policy-makers. Topics will include the current homelessness situation in New Westminster, what actions are currently being taken to address this issue, lived perspectives on homelessness, and what we have heard so far from various community organizations, members and partners about potential actions for the new strategy.

Following the panel discussion and question and answer session, join your neighbours in a breakout discussion on potential opportunities and actions that the City and the community can take to address homelessness.

Learn more about and sign up for this event on the New Westminster Be Heard Website.

Please share this invite with members of your organization and help us promote this important event to the community.

Extreme Weather Advisory Issued for New Westminster

This EWA for New Westminster is being issued on January 19 at 9:40am, due to the following weather conditions and forecast: rain accumulation and a steady decline in temperatures dropping to zero degrees by end of week.

The following shelter will be providing spaces during this EWA:

Lower Mainland Purpose Society EWR Shelter 502 Columbia Street (old Army and Navy bldg.) Enter from Front Street side of building

8:00pm to 8:00am

Space for up to 50 adults 19+

Phone: 604-526-2522 (830-5pm) or 604-375-5792 (during shelter hours)

EXTREME WEATHER ALERT

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Pursuant to sec. 2(2)(b) of the Assistance to Shelter Act an Extreme Weather Alert (EWA) is being issued for the municipality of New Westminster, British Columbia. This EWA activates the authorities in the Assistance to Shelter Act for police to assist persons at risk due to extreme weather conditions and remains in effect until it is cancelled.

This EWA is being issued on December 30, 2021 at 10am, due to the following weather conditions and forecast: snow accumulation and feels like temperatures at or below zero degrees.

The following shelters will be providing spaces during this EWA:

Lower Mainland Purpose Society EWR Shelter

502 Columbia Street, enter on Front Street side of building

8:00pm to 8:00am

Phone: 604-526-2522 (830-5pm) or 604-375-5792 (during shelter hours)

Space for up to 50 adults 19+

Russell Housing Centre

740 Carnarvon Street

8:30pm to 8:00am

Phone: 604-862-9582

Spaces for up to 10 adults 19+

Extreme Cold Weather Shelter Information

New Westminster currently has 54 permanent emergency shelter beds in operation. In addition, the City is working with BC Housing and Purpose Society to operationalize up to 50 extreme weather response program mats on the lower floor of the former Army and Navy department store and accessed off of Front Street. This additional shelter capacity will be activated during extreme weather events and will be operational until March 31, 2022.

Purpose Society is currently addressing some outstanding items prior to occupancy and hopes to have the shelter operating within the week. When operational, Purpose Society will notify City departments and all faith-based and non-profit organizations, and will publicly post the City’s Extreme Weather Response Program Plan, which is intended to assist those who are unsheltered during extreme weather.

You can also find open shelters in your area through BC Housing’s shelter finder at https://smap.bchousing.org/…/shelters_list.jsf…