Major changes coming for Kamloops Out of the Cold shelter - InfoNews

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Major changes coming for Kamloops Out of the Cold shelter

Kamloops' homeless population can look forward to a new shelter oepning up for the winter months. Out of the Cold board chair Kathy Moore has been presented with options, but is looking for other locations.
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August 09, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - There may be big changes coming for the homeless population in Kamloops.

A program that aims to feed and house the homeless during the cold winter months is undergoing some major operational changes.

Out of the Cold runs from November to March, when temperatures drop to their lowest. They have operated out of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral for a number of years, offering 28 beds and feeding as many people as possible.

Kathy Moore, board chair for Out of the Cold, says the organization is looking for a new building, executive director, and will shift the focus to being a shelter first and foremost.

“We really need to have a warming shelter or an overnight shelter, that’s something that is missing in our community,” Moore says. “There’s no other place where somebody that doesn't have a home at all can go.”

Moore says that the other programs once offered in the city will no longer be opening their doors.

According to Moore, the church they have operated out of for years poses some issues. She says the organization took a vote about changing locations, with a 50/50 divide. She says that the 50 per cent split was enough to warrant a change.

“Our space in the Anglican church was like a rabbit warren, it was not very good for what we wanted to do,” Moore says. “Basically there were stairs up, there were hallways around, people could hide in this rabbit warren so we were kind of looking for an open space that's not going to be like what we've got.”

Moore says that the space allowed for people to hide away to use drugs, even though they were prohibited.

“We had some overdoses,” Moore says. “We never lost anybody, Narcan had to be administered but it’s just very difficult when somebody goes into the bathroom and somebody decides they’re going to give themselves a shot in the bathroom. It’s hard to be on top of them all the time.”

Moore wants to find a location with an open floor plan, several bathrooms, and perhaps a kitchen. She says that the Mustard Seed has offered a basement located beneath Thrift City, but Moore says that space has a similar issue of many nooks and crannies. She says that although she is grateful for the option, she hopes to hear from other people who may have a more appropriate space to rent or lend to the organization.

“We’re sort of thinking that we would like to have a space that a little less warren-like, but if it comes right down to it we would make good use of it if need be,” Moore says.

On top of finding a new location, Out of the Cold is looking for an executive director after the passing of Bud Forbes, who was the board chair and oversaw much of what went on with Out of the Cold.

“We put a message out there that we are looking and accepting resumes and we’ll probably be interviewing at the end of August,” Moore says.

She says that 11 people have applied for the position that was listed two weeks ago. The new executive director will manage the staff and volunteers, provide training, work on fundraising, meet donors and city stakeholders, organize events, and more.

“They have to be able to be very welcoming for our vulnerable homeless population because that was Bud’s mantra ... that the door was open to everybody,” Moore says.

 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 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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