iN VIDEO: City of Kamloops revokes The Loop's business license | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: City of Kamloops revokes The Loop's business license

The Loop's business license is being revoked by the City of Kamloops on Thursday, July 22.

The City of Kamloops is revoking The Loop's business license, effectively ending its ability to operate.

Clients are being forced to pack up their belongings and disperse from the property at 405A Tranquille Road.

Community Services Officers (City of Kamloops bylaw officers) arrived at The Loop at 10:30 a.m. today, July 22, to instruct their clients to gather their things and move from the property, after an assault appeared to be the last straw in an ongoing spat between the City and outreach organization. The Loop has already been designated a nuisance property.

The City of Kamloops has yet to confirm its intentions but The Loop staff said they were told the City was shutting it down by revoking its business licence. 

The move comes after yet another incident this morning, though it's not clear if a fight outside the building instigated the City's actions today.

Lori Lavoie, from The Loop, says an intoxicated man who lives at Northbridge Hotel and Suites got in a fight with a man at The Loop. At 7:48 a.m., RCMP arrived at The Loop in response to the fight. Multiple people scattered when police arrived and officers found that two people had entered a "consensual" fight and no injuries were reported, according to RCMP spokesperson Const. Crystal Evelyn.

A video on social media shows a Community Service Officer, who goes by Officer Kang, attempting to de-escalate the fight.

He returned at 10:30 a.m. to assist in closing The Loop.

"It's all part of the job," Kang said, adding he's not concerned for his safety returning to The Loop again. He knows most of the clients by name and responds to the area often.

Community Services supervisor Mo Perri said once The Loop's clients are dispersed, community services will continue to encourage people to use emergency shelters that are already in place elsewhere in the city. However, he acknowledged that can be difficult as many people refuse to use them.

Some of the clients could be seen crying, some yelling at community service officers, as they were instructed to pack up their things. They were worried that community services will confiscate their belongings.

Perri told them that their belongings, if not packed and removed, will be taken to the Community Services building at Mission Flats.

Lavoie, who is coordinator for the COVID Meal Train, said she was left with some relief when Community Service Officers told her she would be allowed to continue her work with the COVID Meal Train. Although she operates out of The Loop, her mobile outreach efforts will continue.

The City's move to shut The Loop down follows a move to open a similar day-use facility for the homeless population less than a block away.

According to an announcement from the City, the 377 Tranquille Road day use facility will offer outreach work and shuttle services, similar to what The Loop already does.

Glenn Hilke, The Loop Coordinator, told that he proposed that his organization move to that same location in mid-June.

Without his knowledge, however, the City moved to partner with four other organizations to use that property for the same service, without The Loop's involvement.

Community services could not be reached to comment on the incident.

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.

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