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Surrey lacks winter resources for the homeless: Councillor

Homeless people gather on Whalley's so-called "strip," along 135 A Street in this photo taken on June 19, 2018.
Homeless people gather on Whalley's so-called "strip," along 135 A Street in this photo taken on June 19, 2018. Global News

A Surrey councillor wants to see more shelter space for the homeless and in particular for the elderly.

Brenda Locke said Surrey desperately needs it, the city has less than 50 emergency weather beds and could use between 130 to 150.

“I don’t know why it isn’t easier to open some of the city’s resources,” Locke said.

And another concern she said she’s noticing more and more are elderly people ending up on the streets.

READ MORE: ‘A change in our whole life:’ Hope from Surrey homeless as new housing opens

“And it’s pretty devastating when you’re seeing seniors who are in wheelchairs that obviously have major health challenges and those people are trying to survive outside, it’s unconscionable that we have to deal with that in our city but we do,” Locke added.

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She said she’s still trying to figure out why it isn’t easier to open some of the city’s facilities during bad weather.

“Having said that, there are lots of churches and other community facilities that are being opened and some of the non profits are opening their facilities,” Locke added.

The last homeless count in Metro Vancouver showed nearly 700 people were homeless in Surrey.

WATCH: (Aired June 19, 2018) Moving day for Surrey’s ‘Whalley Strip’ tent city

Click to play video 'Moving day for Surrey’s ‘Whalley Strip’ tent city' Moving day for Surrey’s ‘Whalley Strip’ tent city
Moving day for Surrey’s ‘Whalley Strip’ tent city

Effective Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 sites open for people needing shelter “emergency weather beds.”

Peninsula United Church – Star of the Sea Church Hall – White Rock/South Surrey
15262 Pacific Avenue
25 mats – men and women
9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.

Nightshift Ministries
10635 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC
15 mats – women only
9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.

Pacific Community Church
5337 180th Street
25 mats – men and women
9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.

Pacific Community Resources Society
10453 Whalley Blvd
10 mats – youth only – under 19
8:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery Center
13686 94 A Avenue
15 mats – 10 men and 5 women
9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.

Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Center
13639 108th Avenue
16 mats for men and women
9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.