New site accessed nightly at El Niña, Trail’s temporary shelter

Those needing shelter are offered a warm place to sleep along with shower and laundry ameneties - but only for so long.

Up to three people have knocked on the door of Trail’s temporary shelter each night since it opened three weeks ago.

They are welcomed to a warm place to sleep, offered laundry and shower amenities and a light meal – but only for so long.

“This isn’t just a hotel for a month,” says Program Coordinator Sheila Adcock, from Career Development Services (CDS). “If they are not in a crisis and just passing through, individuals utilizing the shelter need to be in a place where they are actively seeking housing and supports.”

There have been instances in the past when a person accessed the facility following a 30-day stint at the year round shelter in Nelson. But the rules are different in Trail, and CDS has developed a policy that states people must connect with housing facilitator through the Getting to Home program within three days, if they wish to stay.

“What we are staying away from and being very clear about, is this is not an ongoing shelter like in Nelson,” Adcock explained.

“That shelter is year round and individuals can stay there for 30 days. Some were spending 30 days there then coming to Trail thinking they could stay here for 30 days, then go back to Nelson,” she added. “That is not our mandate, they need to be actively seeking housing to stay in La Niña shelter – we don’t have consistent funding so this isn’t a place to stay for a month before moving on.”

Finding housing can take anywhere from one day to one month depending upon each person’s needs, she says.

“The individual does not have to take the first thing that comes up,” Adcock said.

“But they don’t get to stay here all winter (with-out deciding on housing), that’s not the purpose.”

Last week alone, workers found three shelter guests, two men and one woman, more permanent lodging.

“They are local and one recently located to Trail because family is here,” she said, mentioning CDS tracks how many people use the shelter each year as well as the number and demographic of people housed through the homeless program.

“We’ve been approached to be part of the homeless count this year so we are on record with how many people have struggled with homelessness this year,” Adcock explained, noting the area includes Castlegar, Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley. “But homeless looks different here, it’s not like going to the Lower East side and counting bodies on the street,” she said. “Here it’s people who are couch surfing, sleeping in a back alley, living two-to-three in a small apartment or staying in an unsafe situation. It’s harder for us to get that count.”

Provincial year round funding isn’t a service that’s applied for, as an example, if Trail wanted to facilitate a year round shelter like Nelson.

Rather, the government appoints funding to those communities with the greatest homeless count. That’s the reason Adcock is working on statistics.

The first year (2011) the shelter was volunteer-run in the basement of the Salvation Army Church, with funding only allotted for nights the temperature fell to -10 C, which is considered extreme.

Keith Simmons, former pastor at the Trail United Church, championed the cause the following year and gained funding to compensate shelter workers and keep the service open seven days a week regardless the temperature.

Once CDS stepped in to support the service, the temporary shelter became much more than a warm place to sleep.

Just Posted

Trail police seek to ID more loot recovered during weapons search

Trail RCMP recovered numerous weapons and stolen items after search at Fifth Avenue residence

Trail officially launches Community Safety Task Force

Terms of Reference (mandates) for both the new groups are available on the city’s website

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Nelson police warn of counterfeit money in city

The department says it has received multiple reports of fake Canadian and U.S. cash

Support for Blanket Warming Station at KBRH

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is currently undergoing a $19+ million Emergency Department reno

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Winter weather advisory issued for East Kootenay

Up to 5cm of snow expected by the end of the weekend and up to 15cm over the next week

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Most Read