Doors open to extreme weather shelter

The new BETHS shelter will operate in times of inclement weather. (L to R) BETHS VP John Heavener

The extreme weather shelter is open for business.

The shelter, housed at the Christian Centre ,opened last Wednesday and the following days have seen an occupant every night.

Kristine Eyre, president of BETHS (Boundary Emergency and Transitional Housing Society), says that the first

couple of days have been successful.

“When the word gets out, I’m sure that more and more people will access it,” Eyre says.

The shelter is open from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. on nights of inclement weather only.

“Zero degrees or below, or wet weather,” she says. “So snow, rain, fog; anything that’s going to make you wet if you’re out there on the streets, so even if it’s not raining at the moment.”

When the weather is inclement, Eyre notifies organizations such as the RCMP, who are then to able direct those without a place to stay to the shelter.

She uses the weather forecast to try to plan ahead, to see if that night will be bad for those on the street.

“If it’s a nice clear day, we’re pretty sure that it’s going to freeze in February and March; if it’s clouded over, it’s probably going to be some sort of precipitation,” she says about factors that will see the shelter open. “Even if it’s above zero during the day and the snow is melting, so people are getting wet and goes below zero in the evening… so now it’s going to be pretty cold for you, right?”

Eyre says that the shelter can even provide an insulated animal cage if the person seeking shelter has an animal.

Eyre says currently they have about 12 volunteers and are still looking for more.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Barry Pratt at 250-442-9464.