The B.C. government will fund 10 extreme weather shelter spaces in Quesnel this winter to help those whose health and safety may be threatened by cold, wet weather.

The temporary spaces, located at Quesnel Shelter and Support Society (Seasons House), 146 Carson Avenue, will be available from now until March 31, 2015 as communities issue extreme weather alerts for their area.

“Extreme weather shelter beds aim to support homeless people that might be turned away due to a lack of bed space”, said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “The extreme weather shelter beds are made possible by funding from the provincial government working with community partners on how and when these beds are best utilized. With the minus temperatures we receive in Quesnel it is an important addition to the services provided at Seasons House through the winter months.”

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 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.