Out of the Cold ready for winter
Every winter, St. Paul’s Cathedral opens its doors to the city’s most vulnerable, providing a night-time
refuge from the elements.
But, organizers of the Out of the Cold program don’t really know what to expect this year as winter approaches.
This year’s calculation of the homeless population is less than half what it was in 2010.
“What effect it will have on us, I don’t know,” said Ron Tronson, the program’s co-ordinator.
“We’ll find out when we start.”
In the last few years, the average number of people using the service each night has declined.
In 2009, an average of 17 people used it, with the number dropping to 14 in 2010.
On Oct. 15, a team of volunteers found 45 homeless people as part of the 2011 Kamloops Homeless Count.
In 2010, volunteers counted 105 absolute homeless.
Although Tronson called the results of the recent count good news, he said there will always be people requiring the service.
“We’re there to provide the comfort of shelter, food and the hospitality as well,” he said.
The cold-weather shelter will open its doors on Nov. 9 and remain open every Wednesday and
Sunday until the end of March.
The program is again being organized by the Society of St. Vincent De Paul.
The shelter will stay open daily, providing a place to sleep for the homeless whenever the temperature drops below -10 C.
In the past, the longest stretch of extreme weather has lasted about two weeks.
The shelter, which has a capacity of 28, will run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and offer its guests an evening meal and warm breakfast.
The program is bringing back a hot evening meal, as Tronson noted the dinner was scrapped last year due to problems.
The shelter is open to men, women and families.
The program gets the bulk of its funding from BC Housing and the Thompson-Nicola-Cariboo United Way.