Within a matter of weeks, the City of Burnaby could finally have warming centres and a winter shelter for homeless people, after years of advocacy that fell on the deaf ears of the city’s former mayor.

“We’re overjoyed,” said Karen O’ Shannecary, with Burnaby’s Society to End Homelessness. “Homelessness is deadly … and to be able to look forward to the opening of a shelter or a warming centre – anything to help people stay alive and get basic needs met – is just incredibly awesome news.”

On Monday, city council unanimously passed a motion directing staff to move forward with a plan to establish a warming centre in each of the city’s four quadrants and a temporary emergency shelter as soon as possible. Exact locations have not been set.

“It’s not humane to leave people out in these kinds of conditions,” said Coun. Pietro Calendino after introducing the motion as an hours-long downpour pelted the windows of council chambers.