Out of the Cold program needs a new home

Shelter program for homeless had for years operated at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral

The Out of the Cold shelter program is looking for a new home and executive director.

The extreme weather shelter, which ran under the tutelage of recently deceased Bud Forbes, will no longer operate in the basement of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral downtown.

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The shelter board is discussing next steps with The Mustard Seed New Life Community Kamloops and the city.

“We are in the process of trying to put together a new plan for Out of the Cold because the cathedral is thinking that the area needs a rest,” Out of the Cold board chair Kathy Moore told KTW.

“We’re trying to find a new spot for it and we’re actually actively in contact with Mustard Seed and Natalie Serl [City of Kamloops housing and homelessness project manager], and so we’re trying to put together some plans for this fall.”

The shelter has operated for years in the basement of the church at Nicola Street and Fourth Avenue, with volunteers providing a hot meal, bed and clothing to the homeless from November through March, when the temperatures are typically coldest in Kamloops.

Last year, the program expanded to include Out of the Heat, providing refuge during the hottest days of the summer.

As the mercury hit mid-30s this week, however, the shelter has remained closed.

Moore said the city came to the shelter to fund the program last summer, in part to help combat the impacts of smoke inhalation on the homeless, due to the city being socked in for a second straight year as a result of wildfires in the region.

While the smoky skies have remained absent so far this summer, there remains a demand for refuge from the heat, with Moore noting the city’s homeless have sought shady areas and have settled along the river banks, where it’s cooler.

As the board works out a plan for the fall and winter, Moore said: “We would love for somebody else to step up and help us because we’re one cathedral.”

Asked if the new location will allow the program to offer similar capacity and programming, Moore said it depends on where they end up.

Two locations being discussed are The Mustard Seed’s former Thrift City building and Value Village, both of which are in the 400-block of Seymour Street.

Moore is seeking input from churches and is calling for any information about a potential new location.

“I want to make sure people don’t think that we have given up,” Moore said. “We’re really, truly — our hearts are in it and we’re trying to find something that’s suitable for us.”

Moore said Out of the Cold is also seeking to hire an executive director.

The former chair, Forbes, was training Moore to succeed him before he died earlier this year.

Moore said it is a “gigantic position,” noting the board decided to hire an executive director to tackle fundraising and more.

“I don’t think we could ever find another Bud Forbes,” she said.

© Kamloops This Week


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