Out of the Cold shelter won’t open this winter in Kamloops - InfoNews

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Out of the Cold shelter won’t open this winter in Kamloops

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January 14, 2020 - 2:16 PM

An overnight shelter that runs through the winter months providing individuals experiencing homelessness with a warm place to stay in Kamloops has been unsuccessful in finding a new space to operate from.

Out of the Cold shelter executive director Lena Cimmarrusti says the volunteer-run shelter will be unable to open this winter after not being able to secure a new home for the facility.

“We have been in search of a new location for the last seven months," Cimmarrusti says in a media release. “It is challenging to find a location that is safe, suitable and zoned for this type of facility."

Out of the Cold was previously run out of the basement of St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Kamloops. The temporary overnight shelter had been operating for two nights a week throughout the winter months for more than a decade.

“While we are disappointed that we have not found a home for the shelter program this year, we have a very dedicated board and passionate group of volunteers,” Cimmarrusti says. “We have to take a step back from traditional operations, but the board is going to explore its options and see if there is a gap they can fill in another way.”

A proposed location on Seymour Street was a possible location for Out of the Cold to operate but it was determined to not be a viable option, Cimmarrusti says. 

“With the recent adverse weather conditions, we have done what we can to safely increase capacity at the Emerald Centre and The Branch to temporarily accommodate need. Together with other stakeholders, we won’t turn anyone away,” Alfred Achoba, acting operations leader at Canadian Mental Health Association in Kamloops, says in the release.

For people experiencing homelessness overnight shelters are available at:

  • Emerald Centre, 271 Victoria St. West. 55 beds. Open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
  • The Mustard Seed Kamloops, 181 Victoria St. West 30 mats. Open 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., 7 days per week until April 1

Warming centres:

  • The Mustard Seed Kamloops, 181 Victoria Street West. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • Spero House, 317 Tranquille Rd. Open 24 hours per day until January 16
  • Crossroads Inn, 569 Seymour St. Open 24 hours per day until January 16

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards 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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