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Temporary winter shelter locations in Kamloops selected

Pending approvals, BC Housing will secure funding for shelter operators at the former Stuart Wood elementary and at the Yacht Club building
Stuart Wood shelter 2017
The former Stuart Wood elementary downtown was used as a temporary winter shelter in 2021-2022 and is expected to be used again for that purpose in the winter of 2022-2023.

While the City of Kamloops has opened cooling centres (at Sandman Centre downtown and Parkview Activity Centre in North Kamloops) during the current heat warning (expected to be in effect on Aug. 17 and Aug.18), council also has an eye on the coming winter.

Kamloops city council has chosen a pair of spaces to place temporary cold weather shelters in the downtown this coming winter.

Council has granted both the former Stuart Wood elementary, downtown at 245 St. Paul St., and the Yacht Club building, east of downtown at 1140 River St., short-term facility licences for winter shelter use, according to a report released this month from a closed council meeting in May.

The shelters are expected to open on Nov. 1 and operate until March 31 to give those experiencing homelessness a place to seek refuge from the cold.

According to the report, the city and BC Housing initiated early planning for potential shelter locations this year in response to requests from council and the public.

Though the former Stuart Wood elementary’s gymnasium was used as a temporary shelter last year — with space for between 20 and 25 people — it will still require approvals from the province and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc band for use again this year. Pending approvals, BC Housing will secure funding for shelter operators at each location.

The temporary winter shelters are in addition to shelter services already available in Kamloops to meet the needs of more than 200 people experiencing homelessness in the community, the report noted.

In addition to protecting people from the elements, winter shelters operate 24/7 and provide daily meals, laundry and shower facilities and support services, with staff trying to connect users to long-term housing.