Partners in supporting everyone in our community
Every person in our community has been affected in some way by the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 outbreak has presented. And, we have seen collaborations across so many governmental and organizational lines. In that vein, BC Housing has been reaching into almost every community across this province to look for innovative solutions to help keep the people they work with safe. Working alongside the City of New Westminster, BC Housing reviewed a number of possible locations that could be used to help reduce crowding in some shelters they currently run and provide safe distancing spaces for people currently experiencing homelessness.
It was determined that space within the Massey Complex, on our school district property, was the best option to help support vulnerable people in our community. We have worked alongside our community partners to allow the creation for a safe temporary emergency shelter there.
Interior work has been done to block access to any unneeded rooms and exterior fencing has been erected to create a designated space for shelter guests to safely distance as they enjoy some fresh air. A secure space will be available for residents to keep their belongings if they don’t have another option. There are 24/7 staffing and security measures in place. Fraser Health will be in charge referring people to the shelter (who must not be presenting any possible COVID symptoms), with no walk-up access permitted. And people will be added gradually to ensure a safe, efficient and measured process.
Safety and security of all parties has been the primary driver throughout.
This temporary emergency shelter space is set to open on Monday May 11th. It is a project has been lead by BC Housing, in partnership with the City of New Westminster, Fraser Health, Lookout Housing and Health Society and ourselves. And, when it comes to our ability to help as many people in our community as we can right now, we’re proud to step in and help provide the use of space. It’s one more way that through this challenging time, we can see that we really are in this together.
Please read the below attached documents for more information. And reach out to the BC Housing contact listed there should you have any additional questions.
With warm regards,
Secretary-Treasurer / CFO