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British Columbia B.C. urged to improve shelter funding after death of homeless man

A homeless person sleeps outside a church in downtown Vancouver on March 25, 2015.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

The B.C. government's priorities for shelter funding are being questioned after the death of a homeless man on the Sunshine Coast.

He died last Saturday night, when no shelter beds were open.

The region's only shelter is a fall and winter extreme weather emergency shelter, which only receives enough provincial funding to open on certain nights.

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Housing critic and the riding's representative Nicholas Simons says he has met with Housing Minister Rich Coleman and is now hopeful that the government is seriously considering the need for improved funding.

The New Democrat says homelessness is a provincial responsibility, and he believes the government is letting the community down.

Last season, the Sunshine Coast shelter could be opened most nights thanks to community fundraising to cover extra costs, and the recent death has prompted an online funding campaign that reached $1,000 within the first few hours.

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