#RoyalCityGems: Lookout Society

Friday, October 14, 2016

Having The Community’s Back Since 1971

The positive impact this New West gem makes on the lives of many is truly dazzling. 

It goes without saying that Downtown New West is an exceptional place to live. With a stunning riverfront, historic buildings and charming local businesses decorating our streets, it’s no wonder it’s becoming a popular destination for residents.

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photo by @olegclinton3

One organization that is committed to providing access to housing for all is the Lookout Society.

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Established in 1971, this local non-profit offers a range of social services to adults with low or no income. Over the past 45 years, they’ve aided countless individuals access housing and support.

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^pictured above: Executive Director, Shayne Williams

Currently they operate in three various locations across New Westminster, which each serving several different programs

o   Russell Housing Centre – long-term supportive affordable housing, emergency shelter and outreach services

Starter Kitchen Welcome

o   Cliff Block Residence: transitional, long-term and extreme (wet and cold) weather response shelter

Cliff Block Residence New West

o   Rhoda Kaellis Residence: transitional and long-term supportive affordable housing

Rhoda Kaellis Residence Common Area

While they continue to help as many as they can, their resources become particularly strained during the winter season.


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photo by @nadinehansenphotography

Sadly, last year Lookout had 2,286 instances in New West where they had to turn someone away from shelter because they were at capacity, with an overall 98.5% occupancy rate. 

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photo by @pamelasaunders

Executive Director for the Lookout Society, Shayne Williams, says “as the weather gets colder we’re reminded that not everyone has the same luxury to simply turn up the thermostat to stay warm. We work to keep vulnerable people safe in New Westminster, and all across the Lower Mainland, by providing housing and health services.  It is particularly important during the winter months to help keep people warm, safe and dry.”


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The Lookout Society hosts two important initiatives over the winter and you can learn more about them below!

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Above: Thanksgiving at one of Lookout Society’s community kitchens.

The Extreme Weather Response Program

Now open
The provincially funded Extreme Weather Response (EWR) program provides individuals and families in need with access to a warm, dry place to sleep during extreme weather conditions between October 14th and March 31st. Learn more HERE or use their interactive map to find the closest shelter. 

Turn Down the Heat Week

Oct 23 - 29

The Downtown New West BIA will be participating in Turn Down the Heat Week October 23 – 29. During that time, participating member businesses will turn down their thermostat for one week and are encouraged to wear a sweater to promote the campaign mission. Businesses will also collect sweaters and other warm clothing items which will be donated to the Lookout Society. As the temperatures are dropping outside, we ask you to start collecting sweaters and warm clothing to donate. A full list of participating businesses will be available at www.downtownnewwest.ca.

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