Indo-Canadian Man Drives Homeless Folks From Sub-Zero Temp Places To Warming Centres Every Morning

He provides critical shuttle services from overnight shelters to the Daytime Warming Centre.

by Mallika Khurana
Indo-Canadian Man Drives Homeless Folks From Sub-Zero Temp Places To Warming Centres Every Morning

At some point or another in our lives, we have all felt the urge to show human kindness, to help others, and to do our part in making our society a better place. However, there are only a few of us who can put these honest thoughts into action. Only a handful of us dare to be selfless and go above and beyond to make someone’s life better. One such brave soul of Indian origin lives in Canada’s British Columbia. In the city’s frigid winter, this compassionate force named Upkar Singh Tatlay, an Indo-Canadian driver and the executive director of the Engaged Communities Canada Society, is a guiding light for those facing the bitter chill of homelessness. 

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Even those who haven’t experienced the peak of the Canadian winter know about its bitterness. To be there without a roof over your head at 6 in the morning is as brutal as it gets. However, there are many in British Columbia, forced to live on the streets and freeze in a corner. However, to ease their misery, Tatlay sets out on his daily mission in a white multi-passenger van. 

It is a vehicle that symbolises not just transportation but a lifeline for those with no place to call home. Operating from the end of November through March, he takes on multiple trips, shuttling people from overnight shelters in Surrey to the warmth of Engaged Communities’ Daytime Warming Centre in the neighbouring city of White Rock.

With an understanding that exposure to extreme cold can be life-threatening, Tatlay’s efforts bridge the gap between mere survival and a sense of community care. According to Daijiworld reports, the South Surrey Recreation Centre provides overnight shelter. However, there is a catch. The users there are required to vacate by 6.30 am. And that’s where Tatlay’s comparison and services come in. He drives these people to the Daytime Warming Centre, open from 7 am to 10 pm at North Bluff Road, funded by both the city and public donations.

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Indo-Canadian Driver’s Relentless Daily Mission

Tatlay doesn’t just drive his truck to and from cities. His keen eye and compassionate spirit seek out individuals in need of shelter services, navigating the complex landscape of homelessness. He actively finds people who are living in difficult conditions in this brutal cold. From senior citizens to employed people unable to afford rent and food, he comes across people from different walks of life, as per CBC reports.

As Tatlay drops his first batch of passengers at the Daytime Warming Centre, they are welcomed with the warmth of both physical and emotional sustenance. Volunteers greet them with croissants and coffee. According to Daijiworld, beyond the immediate comfort, the centre also provides access to mental health and medical resources. Warm clothing and blankets are also offered to the needy, reflecting the warm and helpful spirit of every volunteer working with Engaged Communities.

Upkar Singh Tatlay’s story is not just about driving a van. His tireless efforts are fueled by empathy and a sense of duty.

Cover Image Courtesy: Engaged Communities Canada/Instagram

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