Several thousand Vancouverites have endorsed a petition urging the provincial government to keep open five temporary homeless shelters — two of which are in False Creek.

Laura Track, housing campaign lawyer with Pivot Legal Society, said around 2,000 people signed an online petition that was sent yesterday to Housing Minister Rich Coleman.

Hundreds more signed paper versions, she added.

“We wanted to point out … (that the shelters) have been serving at least 450 people every night,” Track said.

In January, the city opened five Homeless Emergency Action Team shelters, which were funded by the government to stay open until June 30.

While some enraged False Creek residents say they are magnets for crime, Track said others point to the role the shelters play in getting marginalized people off the streets.

“The community’s concerns are important and need to be addressed … but it’s important to remember things won’t be better if the shelters close,” she said.