A homeless person arrested in Langley on the weekend told police he simply wanted to get out of the cold.
Langley RCMP officers have been busy getting homeless locals somewhere warm after temperatures plunged in the middle of the weekend, said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the department.
Officers have even driven people as far as shelters such as The Front Room on 135A Street in Surrey, because it is open during the day, unlike local shelters such as the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope, Largy said.
One arrested man told police he wanted to get inside.
“He said he purposely committed a crime so he could go to jail to be warm,” Largy said.
The Gateway of Hope has been at maximum capacity for the past few nights, said the shelter’s Julie Gilfillan.
“We don’t have a drop in centre, unfortunately,” she said.
Although the shelter is allowing more people to stay in the waiting area than normal, there isn’t room to accommodate everyone on Langley’s streets all day long. There are estimated to be more than 200 people on the streets in Langley.
Some people are moving around to the places that are open, Gilfillan said.
“They’re going to a library, to a coffee shop, to wherever to stay warm,” she said.
Environment Canada has issued an Arctic outflow warning for the Fraser Valley.
Following light snow across much of Metro Vancouver on Sunday, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for several days.
The Gateway of Hope Shelter is expected to have its emergency capacity in effect for the foreseeable future, said Gilfillan.