Kamloops News

Old Stuart Wood school won't be used as a temporary shelter this winter

KAMLOOPS - The old Stuart Wood elementary school location will likely not resume as a temporary winter shelter this season.

The city's acting community and social development supervisor Natalie Serl says the permanently closed school in the city's downtown area is being considered for other uses by various agencies.

"I'm 99 per cent certain that we are not going to use Stuart Wood as a winter shelter this year," Serl says. "The property itself is... being considered for another use, it's under negotiations with a few agencies so I'm pretty sure it's not going to be used."

The closed school became a temporary winter shelter for the first time last winter. It was funded by B.C. Housing and operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The shelter was open from Nov. 1, 2017 to Mar. 31, 2018.

Other suggestions for the Stuart Wood property include converting the location into a museum or cultural centre but nothing has been confirmed, Serl says.

Although the winter shelter will not resume, Serl says the city's plan to introduce several modular homes this winter will help alleviate the number of individuals in need of housing.

"We are preparing for a smooth transition for that but I don't have any details to share at this time," she says. 

Serl says the Stuart Wood temporary shelter was a successful solution in helping the city's homeless population.

"We were able to help them out, give them a safe space so they could be out of the elements," she says. "(The) Canadian Mental Health Association responded very quickly to incidents or concerns that may have arisen... overall it was very successful and very positive."

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