The recent stretch of mild January weather in Whistler is set to come to an end this weekend.
With temperatures expected to fall to -13 C overnight on both Saturday and Sunday, the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) is opening its extreme weather shelter to anyone in need of a warm place to spend the night.
The overnight shelter will be operating out of its new location at WCSS' 8000 Nesters Road headquarters between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, weather depending. The shelter will only open its doors if temperatures hit -10 degrees C or colder, or if temperatures are 0 C or lower with adverse weather conditions like heavy snow or rain.
The shelter's current capacity is six people, first-come, first-served. Doors lock at 11 p.m.
Warm food and beverages will be provided in the evening and in the morning. Mats, sleeping bags and pillows are also provided.
Support workers will be onsite overnight.
The emergency cold-weather shelter started as a pilot project between WCSS and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), held at the Whistler Public Library in December 2021. It was activated again for several days in the last two months of 2022, on two separate occasions when temperatures fell below the -20 C threshold. The move to WCSS' main building comes after the social-service provider and the RMOW disagreed on the temperature threshold to activate the emergency shelter. The municipality later agreed to amend its lease with WCSS to allow the organization to host its own shelter.
Anyone with questions about the shelter can call WCSS at 604-932-0113, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.