Shelter vital over winter

Regardless of temperature, Trail's homeless sought beds at the local temporary shelter each night.

Homeless people seek comfort from the elements regardless of how low the mercury dips.

That was the case during Trail’s mild winter, because no matter the temperature, an average of two people sought beds at the city’s temporary shelter each night.

The La Nina Extreme Weather Emergency Shelter offered services to mostly middle aged males who were homeless and needed a warm place to rest their heads from November 1 to February 28.

The demographic evolves from those who are homeless to women seeking shelter from domestic situations, and those travelling through the area for medical appointments with no transportation back home.One constant element since the shelter opened in the Trail United Church, is that over the past three years, people use the six-bed service snow, rain or shine.

“The usage for the shelter this year was steady in November and December due to a few individuals waiting for available housing,” said Teresa Crockett of Career Development Services (CDS), the organization that runs the shelter.

January slowed down, however the shelter was utilized for some crisis situations, she explained. “And individuals stranded and travelling through town.”

She said one to two people accessed the shelter nightly, with the most being four in one shift.

“But we never had to turn anyone away,” Crockett added.

Extreme weather response shelter programs are funded through BC Housing with a temporary purpose to provide spaces to individuals and families who are homeless during winter months when sleeping outside could threaten their health and safety.

Each year, CDS is required to apply for funding with a rationale as to why the service is needed, said Crockett, adding that the shelter staffs 14 individuals during the season.

As a key element in the strategy to break the cycle of homelessness, temporary shelters like La Nina and BETHS (Boundary Emergency and Transitional Housing Society) in Grand Forks or drop-in centres such as Nelson’s Stepping Stones for Success, are disbursed funding to help connect the homeless to support and housing services within their respective communities.

In Greater Trail, a joint venture between the Greater Trail Skills Centre and CDS called Getting to Home, was launched two years ago with a goal to end homelessness in region.

“The project well surpassed our ideas and what we had set forth to do,” said CDS spokesperson Gail Pighin. “We hope to raise funds as well as awareness that homelessness isn’t a problem that occurs in larger cities,” she continued. “It is alive and happening right here in Trail and the surrounding areas.”

The homelessness initiative began with 28 people on the roster in need of assistance, but by the end of June, the program helped 163 individuals from Rossland through to Fruitvale find a place to call home.

“This isn’t just about picking the person up and saying ‘Here is a house for you,'” said Pighin.

“It’s about looking at the dynamics and what has created this situation and how we can help them be in a better place and get the support they need.”

Single mothers, seniors on the verge of losing housing, youth transitioning out of foster care, brain injury clients and people struggling with mental health or drug and alcohol issues have all found housing through “the homeless are here if you choose to look” project.

“It’s not the guy you see walking around or sleeping under the bridge and other nooks and crannies in Trail,” said Pighin.

“We thought we would just get those guys and get them off the street. But it has turned out to me so much more.”

For information, contact CDS at 364.1104, BETHS at 250.442.2006.

Just Posted

“The Spirit of Family” enhances the Beaver Valley both in the daytime and at night. Photo: Submitted
Family sculpture installed at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall

Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a… Continue reading

In 1927, swimmers enjoyed a day in the water at the CGIT and CSET Camp in Summerland. While none of the people in this photograph have smart phones, there is some debate about whether a beach image from the United Kingdom in 1943 shows a man using a smart phone. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
COLUMN: The mystery of the time-travelling tourist

Was the man in a 1943 photograph checking his smart phone?

Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

Daryl Jolly co-founded the college’s digital arts program

The flotation line at Gyro Park beach in East Trail, shown here during low water, is for emergency purposes only and does not delineate a safe swimming area. Photo: Trail Times file
City of Trail cautions beach users

Gyro Park beach questions should be directed to the roads superintendent at 250.364.0817.

Presently in Canada, it is illegal to be in possession of a personal stun gun. Use of this tool is only licensed to federal and provincial police officers. The personal use of stun guns by unlicensed civilians is considered to be illegal and considered under the Canadian Criminal Code to be the equivalent of a weapon. Anyone found importing or in possession of a personal stun gun and is not a licensed law enforcement officer can be prosecuted under the Canadian Criminal Code. Photo: BC RCMP
Trail man faces weapons charge after police confiscate stun gun

The incident took place on Sunday near downtown Trail

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Lindsay, Isla and Ethan Fischer & Maddie, Everly, Ray and Jessica Pressacc of the Tadanac Residents Association along with Aron Burke (Kootenay Savings Community Liaison) Kootenay Savings file
Kootenay Savings Foundation continues community support

The Kootenay Savings Foundation has once again handed out their twice a… Continue reading

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read