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

Just Posted

Free Family Day fun for Greater Trail

Public skating in Rossland and Trail are a few of the free offerings for families this weekend

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Tell the Times

Web Poll: Do you stay in town or leave for holidays like Family Day?

Rossland library gets rave reviews on renovation

A lot of hard work led to this day, says a library board member

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read