January 26, 2016 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Shelter capacity is extending at the Emerald Centre downtown to accommodate more male clients, but the organizer for the location is hoping to create a better plan for dealing with those extra beds.
Effective April 1, the shelter capacity will be extending to 42 beds from 35. The additional seven will be reserved for male clients.
“We could easily make a business case for those additional seven beds,” Christa Mullally executive director for Mental Health Association’s Kamloops branch says. “The only thing we’ve had that was a bit troublesome (is there was) a couple of releases from a correctional centre released to Emerald Centre without a plan or additional supports."
Mullally says the two men were not prepared for communal living after their release from jail and she says the shelter will have to work with regional corrections and other social agencies to ensure the best discharge plan for each individual.
This year, Emerald Centre committed to not turning any individual away during an extreme weather response. Initially the response was activated for when the weather was colder than -7 Celsius, but Mullally says that response changed to -3 C after a homeless person died from exposure at the -7 C temperature on the Sunshine Coast.
The centre will continue offering shelter during extreme weather until the end of March.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016