While the Out of the Cold agency is not operating a shelter for the homeless this winter, the group’s board of directors and volunteers are lending a hand when needed in the community.
During the recent cold snap, Out of the Cold volunteers were mobilized to help the ASK Wellness Society deal with the overflow of homeless people looking for a warming centre during the dangerously low temperatures Kamloops experienced.
Donated clothing was sorted and dropped off for distribution at the Spero House supportive-housing complex in North Kamloops and at the Pit Stop program at the Kamloops United Church downtown.
The Crossroads supportive-housing complex also received several bags of warm clothes, along with snacks and enough soup to provide a hot lunch for 50 people.
Out of the Cold volunteers are also helping out this week at The Mustard Seed Kamloops’ outreach centre downtown.
Executive director Lena Cimmarrusti said the board will meet at the end of February to begin planning for next winter.
“We need to regroup and determine just what kind of services the community needs from us,” Cimmarrusti said. “We will be consulting with both service providers and service users to determine what the gaps are in the current programs for the city’s homeless population. We hope to be able to fill any gaps identified, even if that means we have to find the money to pay for a rented space next winter. “
Out of the Cold’s original shelter was located in North Kamloops before the program moved downtown to St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, where it operated on Sundays and Wednesdays through several winters. The program needed to find a new home this winter, but was unsuccessful in doing so.
Those who wish to join the Out of the Cold volunteer roster can send an email to email@example.com.