Out of the Cold Kamloops unsure if shelter will open before next week's cold snap | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Out of the Cold Kamloops unsure if shelter will open before next week's cold snap

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January 09, 2020 - 1:20 PM

Although freezing temperatures are set to hit the double digits next week, Kamloops’s Out of the Cold shelter is behind schedule and the executive director is still unsure when they can open their doors.

“Our volunteers are getting pretty antsy with this cold front that is about to come in,” Out of the Cold executive director Lena Cimmarrusti says. “We don’t even know what’s going to happen right now. I mean, it’s almost the middle of January.”

Kamloops will see temperatures around the -20 Celsius mark, with one night forecast to dip to nearly -30 C, according to The Weather Network.

The shelter is usually open on Sunday and Wednesday nights and offers homeless people a warm bed, dinner and breakfast. Due to operational changes and the need for a new location, it has been a late start for the shelter.

Just before Christmas, Cimmarrusti landed a deal to operate out of Canadian Mental Health Association's Kamloops branch at 857 Seymour St. She thought the shelter would welcome homeless people on the first Wednesday of January, the beginning of the new year.

Now, Cimmarrusti says the organization is waiting to hear more information from partners who she cannot name. She says they will have a meeting tomorrow afternoon, Jan. 10, and although hesitant, she hopes to hear something positive.

“Nothing’s happening. I’m still waiting for word,” Cimmarrusti says. “It’s very frustrating, I’m hoping to have some idea by tomorrow.”

Cimmarrusti says the shelter has been overwhelmed with support from locals, but more than physical donations she just wants the beds to open up.

“We are full up with clothing and socks and gloves. In fact, we’re trying to fit it all into our storage," Cimmmarrusti says. "There’s nothing that will help us open at this point, we’re waiting... before we even ask for donations.”

For more information on Out of the Cold visit its website here or its Facebook page here.

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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