Emergency shelter opens doors for winter

Boundary Emergency and Transition Housing Society’s (BETHS) extreme weather shelter is now open for the winter at their new location

Beds at BETHS.

Boundary Emergency and Transition Housing Society’s (BETHS) extreme weather shelter is now open for the winter at their new location in the Multiple Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP) building.The shelter, located by the old Gazette building, opened for the season on Nov. 1 and will close in March.“The new building is wonderful,” said Ramona Dannhauer, head team leader at BETHS. “It’s theirs. It’s a big difference from being in the church to being here. It’s ours. We can work it to our needs.”The shelter is open to anyone who needs a place to stay whether they’re male, female or a family.“So far we’ve had one person on a regular basis,” said Dannhauer. “There’s a couple that have come in and checked us out to see what we’re like. You’re always going to have people reluctant to come in because of the policies we have.”The shelter has rules about no smoking, no drug use, and no distribution. In addition, all possessions are kept up front, said Dannhauer.In the old location, the shelter usually got five or six guests per night.“Once we get established here, we know it’ll get busier,” said Dannhauer. “And when it gets colder.”The shelter opens at 8 p.m. each evening and closes at 8 a.m.“At 8 a.m. we sign them out and they receive all their belongings back and can go next door for breakfast (at Whispers of Hope),” she said. “That’s super convenient. We felt bad at the church because once we kicked them out at 8 a.m. they had no place to go.”BETHS shelter has two staff on duty all night. The shelter has nine beds available currently in two separate rooms that can be made into three if needed. Extra mattresses are also available if the shelter gets more than nine visitors.The shelter also has laundry and shower facilities for guests.

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