The temporary shelter in downtown Trail is now open nightly from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
With funding from the province, up to $74,380 annually depending upon usage, the six-bed shelter provides a warm meal, hot shower and laundry amenities.
As in the past seven years, facilitators through the Getting to Home program work with patrons to develop a clear housing plan. The shelter has always been a means of helping its users find secure housing in the area.
But that mandate is becoming increasingly difficult in Trail, says program manager Sheila Adcock.
“We are starting to feel the housing crunch in Trail over the past year,” Adcock said. “And it is becoming increasingly harder to find affordable housing in the community so our resources are stretched pretty thin.
“We are working with other community agencies to identify some possible support options in the community and to increase awareness of the housing issues experienced locally.”
Between four and six individuals accessed the shelter each night last year, which was higher than previous seasons.
Adcock says those same numbers are anticipated after doors opened Thursday and are expected to close March 31, 2019.
‘This is a nightly shelter first-come-first-served,” she explained. “The expectation is that the individual is actively seeking housing in the community, and there is no guarantee of 30 days as we are a winter shelter not an ongoing year round shelter.”
The site is located on Bay Avenue in the Community Inclusion Centre, though nightly access is through the back door in the alley. Adcock says ladies and men’s pyjama pants and T-shirts are needed. Anyone wanting to contribute to the cause can call Career Development Services at 250.364.1104.
In partnership with municipalities and non-profits in approximately 65 communities around B.C., the province is providing more than 1,400 temporary shelter spaces and over 750 extreme weather response shelter spaces.
All temporary shelters will be open overnight with many open 24/7, and provide meals. Many temporary shelter spaces have already opened for the season, and additional extreme weather response locales, like Trail’s, opened Nov. 1.
The temporary and extreme weather response shelters supplement the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout the province. More temporary shelters and extreme weather shelters may be added this season as needed and where appropriate.
The Government of B.C. also funds outreach teams that work throughout the province at shelters and on the street to help connect people experiencing homelessness with housing and support services, such as income assistance and mental-health services.