Controversial Kamloops homeless drop-in centre sold | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Kamloops News

Controversial Kamloops homeless drop-in centre sold


A Kamloops realtor has bought a controversial property that is home to a drop-in centre for homeless people in the community.

The Loop, at 405 Tranquille Road, is a volunteer-run centre that operates mainly as a soup kitchen.

Commercial realtor Brendan Shaw bought the property, April 15, in a deal that was in the works for at least the past two months.

"I want to see that site repurposed," Shaw said, adding there are no final plans for it yet for the property.

Although he bought the property himself, it could replace his company's North Shore office that is set to make way for a condo building. Or, he said, it could be turned into retail space.

He didn't say how much the property sold for.

Glenn Hilke, who operates The Loop, said he plans to fight the eviction. The lease was set to last for another 19 months, but that may be cut short.

"They have been given notice to vacate," Shaw said.

Once The Loop is gone, Hilke said it will have a ripple effect on the area as more than 100 regular clients have to go elsewhere.

"The scenario as Brendan Shaw has it laid out in his head, I'm sure, is seeing The Loop closed, fences up around the property and people not having access to those services," Hilke said. "All it's going to do is send the folks all over the place and in the worst possible state of mind, probably angry."

While The Loop serves as a hub to get meals for the poorest people in the area, Hilke asserts that the work its volunteers do go beyond serving food. He said The Loop gets clients to medical and legal appointments, helps get things like identification and transports clients to overnight shelters.

Hilke said he will be taking legal action to fight the eviction, but also vowed to reopen The Loop in some other form if they are forced to vacate the Tranquille Road property.

Shaw, however, said the gap left by The Loop's eventual closure was considered before the purchase. He and the building's previous owner, Tami Coolidge, spoke with local non-profits ahead of the sale to ensure they could support the loss of service at The Loop, he said.

"We gave a lot of thought to this," Shaw said. "The last thing you want to do is put people out in the middle of winter."

The North Shore Business Association applauded the sale as its executive director looks forward to The Loop's eventual closure.

Jeremy Heighton said it's been a "challenging site."

"The current occupant has had literally hundreds of interactions with bylaw, RCMP and emergency services over the years," Heighton said.

Without The Loop, those issues won't go away, so Heighton said the City, BC Housing and other non-profits are working on what he called a "24/7 access hub" to make up for the lost service.

He didn't know if a new site had been chosen or when it might open.

— This story was updated at 12:32 p.m., April 16, 2024, with comment from Glenn Hilke.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile