For the Record – Burnaby Warming Shelters

Nick Empey – October 31st, 2019

The temporary shelter located at 2294 Douglas rd, can provide at least 40 spots for anyone seeking shelter.

(Source: Google maps)

With winter just around the corner, many less fortunate Burnaby residents may be seeking sanctuary from the cold. Last year the City of Burnaby unveiled four warming centers with the intent on making sure everyone has a safe space out of the cold. This year they are reopening 3 centers, one of which has been renovated to house twice as many as last year. Chris Revitt, Superintendent of parks operations at the City of Burnaby says that although these centers are meant for anyone, there is a stigma wrongly attached to people making use of the shelter.

“I don’t think it’s fair to paint the same brush across all walks of life that come in. We definitely had people there that would come and sleep with us, get up in the morning and go to work. They get up at 5:30, go to work and we see them the next night with all their stuff and they come back in. Maybe they just needed to get ahead for for a couple of weeks until they got that first down payment or damage deposit” – Chris Revitt, Superintendent parks operations at the City of Burnaby

Revitt hopes to see the stigma broken as very few of users are suffering from mental health or addiction problems. He added that the shelters have plenty of resources and support for anyone who needs help, and staff who are eager to help. Revitt expects to see more use this year, now that word has had time to get out.

Listen to the full interview here: