The executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association said he has been forced to turn away people from Merritt in need of shelter due to a lack of spaces in Kamloops.
Alfred Achoba said he is worried about people on the streets
“I’m worried because I’m getting calls from outside Kamloops, as well, saying, ‘We’ve been evacuated, the shelter has been shut down. Are you able to help with some of them?’ And I can’t because we already have a crisis here,” he said.
Last week, the province announced three new shelters for the homeless planned for the city, but Kamloops is currently short 90 beds.
On Monday, Achoba said he had been contacted about whether there is room at shelters in Kamloops. He said he is aware of 20 people in need of shelter in the wake of an evacuation order in Merritt due to flooding.
Achoba said those people are being referred to local emergency support services. He said the number of calls he received on Monday speaks to a “gap,” with social agencies left to fend for themselves.
“When I’m getting calls from colleagues in other cities, it’s because they probably have been left to figure out what to do with their clients,” Achoba said.