Earlier this week in The Georgia Straight homeless Vancouverite Stanley Q. Woodvine penned the Boxing Day story of of a group of homeless men that were hoping to spend the evening at the St. Mark’s extreme weather shelter in Kits.

It turns out the 25-bed shelter at West 2nd & Larch —the only emergency shelter that accepts men on the entire West Side of Vancouver—kept its doors locked because it wasn’t quite cold enough.

The 10-or-so homeless men who had slept at St. Mark’s on Christmas Eve and Day were surprised to learn upon arrival the following evening, after trudging through the snow and cold, that the shelter was closed because it wasn’t cold enough.

It was -1°C.

My emails to St. Mark’s have so far gone unanswered but I’m told by homeless people that the sign taped to the locked door of the extreme weather shelter on the evening of Boxing Day, gave as an excuse for the closure, the fact that the temperature wasn’t expected to fall to -2°C!

Apparently the City of Vancouver does not consider anything above -2° C to be extreme enough to warrant opening its extreme weather shelters. Now that’s cold.

Last modified: January 4, 2017

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