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

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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

The Skinny Genes Foundation is raising awareness and funds for a rare genetic disorder that claimed both his father and uncle.
NHL players, local businesses help Kootenay man raise funds and awareness for rare genetic disease

Signed NHL jerseys and local business donations up for auction in Skinny Genes Foundation fundraiser

The Columbia Basin Trust has announced grants for biodiversity initiatives. Photo: Submitted
Columbia Basin Trust announces ecosystem protection grants

Three projects are sharing a $1.35-million grant

Remi Drolet
Rossland skier competes at World Nordic ski championship

Remi Drolet was selected to Team Canada and will race at the 2021 FIS World Nordic Ski Championships

good lookin
West Kootenay pet shop owner petitions for end to pet mills

“Our companion animal laws are pretty lax right now, we need to bring more awareness to help SPCA”

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read