White Rock council plans to fund a warming center – Peace Arch News

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White Rock council should consider options for a daytime warming center in the city.

Council is due to receive a corporate report from recreation and culture director Eric Stepura at Monday’s regular meeting (Jan. 10) on temporary heated shelter options.

The report notes that at the end of December 2021, the council received letters from local residents and the Homeless Association of British Columbia asking them to establish a warming center in the South Surrey area and from White Rock.

However, the city did not have unused civic facilities to meet the need. The company’s report indicated that there was also a staff shortage during the holiday season due to vacation and sick days already scheduled.

Another challenge, the report notes, is that providing services to homeless people requires specialized and trained workers who have experience dealing with people who may have mental health or addiction issues.

April 2020: White Rock council plans to help the homeless

“As the staff at the town’s recreation center are not trained to work with homeless people who often suffer from health, mental health and addiction issues, the staff contacted and received a quote of 3,000 $ / day from the Engaged Communities of Canada Society (ECCS) for the operation of a recreation center. heated shelter for up to 30 homeless people in South Surrey and White Rock, or $ 1,750 / day for up to 10 people. ECCS is available to begin operating a heated shelter as of Jan. 15 once a suitable facility is identified, ”the report said.

City staff are to come up with three options for council consideration, which range from $ 167,550 to $ 212,750, to establish a warm-up center from Jan.15 to the end of February. Of the estimated costs, each option includes $ 135,000 for contract staff.

The first option includes renting and setting up a warming center tent with heat, electricity, portable toilets, portable sink, staff and overnight security. The tent is offered for gravel parking at the corner of Russell Avenue and Johnston Road.

The proposal costs $ 171,000, including $ 15,000 for a heated tent.

The second option to consider involves the city opening multiple rooms, washrooms and kitchen at the White Rock Community Center from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with trained contract staff working with the guests.

The estimated cost of the second option is $ 212,750. The budget includes an estimated loss of revenue of $ 50,000 from venue rentals and program cancellations.

The third option that will be presented to council includes a hybrid option of offering a warm-up center at the White Rock Community Center from January 11 to 25 and then moving it to a temporary shelter tent on the gravel parking lot near the Johnston Road and Russell Avenue.

“The advantages of this option are that a heated shelter will be available sooner, there will be more time available to organize the heated tent and there will be less impact on the regular recreation programs held at the White. Rock Community Center, ”the report notes. .

The third option is to cost $ 167,550, including $ 10,000 for a heated tent and an expected loss of income of $ 7,500 from community center programs and room rental cancellations.

March 2021: White Rock nixes heated shelter for this season

In each option, the city notes that the cost could be lower by downsizing if the weather by the end of February is warmer. The cost could also be higher if it was colder in March.

A fourth option for council to consider is that the city can wait to secure funding from other governments or charitable sources before opening a warming center.

“In the past, the responsibility of providing heated shelters to homeless people was assumed by the local religious community, with financial support from the provincial government,” the report says.

“The City of Surrey is not supporting funding for a heated shelter in South Surrey, although the majority of homeless people are in the South Surrey area.

Town of White Rock

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