14:01 PM

Future of safe shelter secured in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS - As many as 75 people experiencing homelessness will continue to have a safe and warm place to stay with the extension of two temporary shelters in Kamloops, announced by the Province, through BC Housing. 

Leases on the former Stuart Wood School shelter and Merit Place have been extended in partnership with the City of Kamloops, Out of the Cold (OOTC) foundation, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops Branch (CMHA Kamloops). 

The former Stuart Wood School shelter, at 245 St. Paul St., will continue to operate as many as 25 beds overnight throughout the summer and fall. Out of the Cold, a local non-profit organization that supports people experiencing homelessness, will continue to operate the shelter. 

Merit Place, at 725 Notre Dame Dr., provides 50 beds for people experiencing homelessness. The original lease on the site was set to expire in June 2023, but BC Housing has negotiated an extension for the site. This means that as many as 50 individuals will be able to access shelter and services until March 2025. CMHA Kamloops will continue to operate the shelter. 

Following engagement with community members in Kamloops the Province is adding new fencing and security measures to both shelters to ensure the safety and well-being of all community residents and shelter guests. These measures will remain for the duration of the lease extensions. 

The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $2 million annually for operations at Merit Place. A further $1.26 million will be provided to OOTC to cover operating costs for the shelter at the former Stuart Wood School. 

BC Housing is working with the City of Kamloops and local community partners to identify additional shelter locations.