North Van's Lookout Shelter issues first emergency weather alert of the season

With frosty overnight temperatures in the forecast, the North Shore Lookout Shelter issued its first emergency weather alert of the season last Friday.

Alerts are issued when the weather becomes cold or wet enough to endanger the lives of those sleeping outdoors.

Under such conditions 20 additional spaces are made available at Lookout’s North Shore Housing Centre. If necessary, more sleeping spots may be added at the North Shore Neighbourhood House.

“While the temperatures have so far been relatively mild this winter,” said David Newberry, the shelter's community liaison in a release, “it has been a wet and windy month. Bad weather increases the number of people who rely on our supply of donations to keep warm and dry.”

This is also the time of year when Lookout relies on generous donations from the community to help stock up for the year and also for gifts to give out to shelter guests during the holidays.

“We try to provide a care package for every shelter guest, transitional housing tenant, and outreach client,” said Lookout’s holiday volunteer coordinator Ken Oxenham, in a release. “Christmas can be a difficult time for people who have very little, and may have lost touch with family and friends, but when we’re able to give gifts, it can go a long way spreading joy to the less fortunate.”

While any donations are welcome, some items typically included in the gift packages are: clothing for men and women, warm winter ware, bus tickets, toothpaste and toothbrushes, rain gear, practical underwear, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, food vouchers or gift cards, warm socks and flashlights.

Items may be dropped off at the shelter, located at 705 West 2nd St.

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