Leases extended for two Kamloops shelters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Leases extended for two Kamloops shelters

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Two Kamloops emergency shelters will stay open for now after they were originally set to close last month.

A winter shelter at the former Stuart Wood school downtown will now stay open until at least next winter, while a lease at the former Greyhound bus station is set to expire May 31, for now.

"We are working to extend the lease and will inform the community once a decision is made and details are finalized," a B.C. Housing spokesperson said in an emailed response.

READ MORE: Premier Eby clearing local government hurdles for more housing

B.C. Housing expects another update on the Greyhound shelter, known as Merit Place, in the "coming weeks."

Both would have closed March 31, but they were opened at separate times.

Merit Place, run by the Kamloops branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association on Notre Dame Drive, hosts 50 beds and opened last spring.

Out of the Cold Kamloops runs the Stuart Wood shelter, which opened in November 2022 after Canadian Mental Health Association backed out within days of its opening. It hosts 25 beds within the gymnasium at the former school.

READ MORE: Bills adding up for Kelowna international student beaten in suspected racist attack reached out to Kamloops mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson about the shelters, but he refused to offer more details about possible plans for the Greyhound shelter space.

The other winter shelter, operated by the Mustard Seed at the former Yacht Club, is now closed and B.C. Housing is working to transition people from that shelter to other housing.

B.C. Housing did not provide an exact date for the Stuart Wood shelter's eventual closure.

Kamloops currently has roughly 200 shelter spaces funded by B.C. Housing.

"Kamloops is one of the largest communities in the Interior and is growing quickly, making land for shelters hard to come by. Finding appropriate shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness is a shared responsibility between the Province and the municipality, which is why we continue to work closely with the city to identify locations in community that are suitable for everyone," the B.C. Housing spokesperson said.

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