British Columbia Sun

Severe climate generating unparalleled demand and difficulties for houses in B.C.

Key takeaways: 

  • ‘We have no option but to turn folks away’: Union Gospel Mission.
  • At the end of November’s abundant rainfall, the Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver had to roll away 19 people in a particular night.

Climate affects BC devastatingly: 

Flooding and severe climate situations this fall are taking a tally on unprotected residents and houses in British Columbia.

The Cyrus Centre in Abbotsford is operating with teens displaced by flooding in the Fraser Valley.

Executive director Les Talvio states house teams have also been relocated from their houses, isolated from families and experienced failures.

“Honestly, it’s wearing on the staff and the volunteers. We have seen needs as we’ve never seen before,” stated Talvio. Source – cbc.ca

Penny’s Place, a women’s house in Abbotsford, is getting 10 to 15 calls a day from unsafe people affected by floods, states Abby Mann, the program coordinator for Penny’s Place.

“They have had camps kind of where the floods have affected them, so they are seeking extreme weather shelters and calling us more often,” stated Mann.  Source – cbc.ca

She says the severe climate shelter at Penny’s Place is now open all day due to the flooding and is full. 

Read more: Flood destruction could require farmers hundreds of millions of dollars, B.C. Agriculture Council states

Record Request in Abbotsford 

Jesse Wegenast, the severe climate response coordinator for Abbotsford shelters, states the request is unusual.

“We are setting records for the number of people sleeping in shelters on a nightly basis, as we have over 200 in shelters every night.” Source – cbc.ca

“We are setting records for the number of people sleeping in shelters on a nightly basis, as we have over 200 in shelters every night.” Source – cbc.ca

Even though more beds and shelters have been supplemented in Abbotsford, he states they were spread thin ere the floods.

“Where we struggle is that we have also seen tremendous growth in the number of people who are unhoused,” he stated.  Source – cbc.ca

Six years ago, there may have been about 50 beds ready in Abbotsford. 

Now, there are 170 beds, but the need is still greater than the number of beds possible, he explains. 

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