RICHMOND – The B.C. government will fund 22 extreme weather shelter spaces in Richmond this winter to help those whose health and safety may be threatened by cold, wet weather.

The temporary spaces, located at the Salvation Army (Richmond House) at 3111 Shell Road, and St. Alban’s Church at 7260 St. Alban’s Road, will be available from now until March 31, 2015 as communities issue extreme weather alerts for their area.

“I am glad our government can cooperate with organizations and volunteers to provide 22 shelter spaces in Richmond during extreme weather,” Richmond-East MLA Linda Reid said. “These beds will save lives and provide a safe place for shelter.”

Each community decides what weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.

Throughout the province, the B.C. government will provide up to $1.6 million this winter to make more than 1,100 temporary emergency shelter spaces serving more than 90 communities.

The B.C. government also funds outreach teams in to help connect people with a range of services such as housing, health care and community supports. Last year, more than 6,700 people in B.C. were connected to these supports by provincially funded homeless outreach and shelter workers.

Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, nearly 100,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.