The Bay Avenue site opened Nov. 1 and will remain operational until the end of March. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Trail shelter at capacity most nights

Staff advised not to turn anyone away from the six-bed shelter in this especially cold stretch

No matter how cold it is outside, the downtown Trail shelter is usually full.

Read more: Homelessness front and centre at Trail fundraiser

Read more: Visit Coins for Change

Since the wintertime-only service first opened nine years ago in an East Trail church, nightly usage has continued to rise and its management evolved from an ad-hoc committee to professional social workers.

“The numbers have absolutely increased,” says coordinator Sheila Adcock from Career Development Services (CDS).

“We have had six per night pretty consistently throughout this cold stretch,” she added.

“We have told the shelter staff that if there are seven, don’t turn them away, as we can pull out another mattress for the night with (these) low temperatures.”

As far as demographics, shelter patrons are mostly men between the ages of 25 and 40.

She says there haven’t been any particular challenges so far, but guests have been asked to leave on occasion.

“If their behaviours escalated and they were disrespectful or aggressive to staff or other guests,” Adcock said. “But they left when asked without the RCMP having to attend.”

The greatest hurdle for staff by far, is helping homeless patrons find a more permanent housing solution.

“There are huge issues in finding affordable housing in the community at this time,” Adcock said. “The landlords are trying to push long-term tenants out for a variety of reasons and then renting out their unit at a much higher rent,” she explained.

“The individuals we are seeing in the shelter have a long history of homelessness and are struggling to accept or access the resources that may be available in the community.”

While the temporary shelter serves a purpose during the cold months, it’s the bigger picture that concerns Adcock.

“Individuals that have complex needs have no option in this community for any type of supportive housing model,” she said. “We are gathering information and support from other organizations to present information to BC Housing and the municipal governments, outlining the crisis that exists in this community for individuals that need ongoing supports to maintain their housing.”

Located on Bay Avenue in the back of the Community Inclusion Centre, the shelter is open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

For anyone wishing to help, various sundries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant are needed as well as new pillows and gloves.

CDS, which is governed by TACL (Trail Association for Community Living), took over shelter operations in 2013. The locale moved from the Salvation Army Church to the United Church in downtown Trail that year. Then, with help from the province’s Job Creation Partnership, the current site was renovated in 2017 to include six hideaways beds and storage.

In partnership with municipalities and non-profits in approximately 65 communities around B.C., the province is funding more than 1,400 temporary shelter spaces and over 750 extreme weather response shelter spaces this winter.

All temporary shelters are open overnight or run 24/7, and provide meals.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Fruitvale looks at re-branding village image

Council is applying for rural dividend grant to begin the work

Greater Trail hospice seeks volunteers

Training starts next month in Kiro Wellness Centre

Recognition at Trail Riverfront Centre

Hundreds of kids were part of “Imagine the Possibilities,” the Summer Reading Club

Music in the Park closes season Thursday, 7 p.m.

Grapevine: Events in Trail area for the week of Aug. 22 to Aug. 28

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Most Read