As an arctic blast encroaches upon Kamloops, Ask Wellness will bring the city’s most vulnerable inside to escape from the cold.
Starting on Sunday, Spero House and Crossroads Inn will open as warming stations, as the temperature drops to dangerous levels. The two locations — 569 Seymour St. downtown and 433 Tranquille Rd. in North Kamloops — will be open from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for five days.
“I think it’s important that we at least have a place for people to come inside in the middle of the night,” ASK Wellness chief executive officer Bob Hughes told KTW, citing delays in Out of the Cold opening. That cold weather shelter is currently awaiting on final approvals to open in the Canadian Mental Health Association building downtown on Seymour Street.
Hughes said that Mustard Seed, which has a 30-mat shelter program, is full 95 per cent of the time.
“We still want people to feel like they can come inside,” he said. “At 10 o’clock, we would find out if there is a mat for them, then we’ll taxi them over to that mat. If, by chance it’s full, they can stay through the night in either setting for the next five days starting on Sunday.”
The locations will not have mats or beds, however staff will be on site in both locations for anyone who needs to come inside.
“We’ll respond daily as to what the demands are, making sure there is always a place to warm up in the community,” Hughes said.
Environment Canada is calling for temperatures in Kamloops to drop to -21 C by Sunday night, with the air expected to remain frosty through the week.