Skip to content

Winter shelter opens at former Stuart Wood elementary in Kamloops

The opening comes after the Canadian Mental Health Association decided at the 11th hours to not operate two planned shelters this winter
Stuart Wood shelter 2017
The former Stuart Wood elementary, downtown at Third Avenue and St. Paul Street, will again be used as a shelter for the homeless population of Kamloops.

After a week’s delay, at least one winter shelter for the homeless has opened in Kamloops.

Two winter shelters for Kamloops’ homeless population were scheduled to open on Nov. 1, with the Canadian Mental Health Association contracted to operate them.

But the CMHA at the 11th hour decided against operating the shelters at the former Stuart Wood elementary downtown and in the Yacht Club just east of downtown.

On Monday evening (Nov. 7), the City of Kamloops announced that BC Housing and the Out of the Cold shelter organization have teamed up to open 24 beds at Stuart Wood, effective immediately. There will also be some seated warming space available. The shelter at the former school at Third Avenue and St. Paul Street will be open seven days a week, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., through March 31 of next year.

Byron McCorkell, the city’s community and protective services director, noted in a release that it takes time to train staff who will work at the shelters.

In its release, the city added: “BC Housing is continuing to work with the community to build capacity and offer more solutions for people experiencing or at risk of homelessess.”

In addition to the winter shelter at Stuart Wood, the ASK Wellness Society has opened around-the-clock warming centres at Spero House in North Kamloops and at the Crossroads Inn downtown to allow people a reprieve from freezing temperatures during the cold snap. Interior Community Services has also extended the hours of its downtown youth outreach centre. Youth ages 25 years or younger can access the warming centre until 8 p.m each day this week. 

If you see someone on the street who looks like they could use a hand, call the city’s community services department at 250-828-3409.