The application for a homeless shelter in downtown Trail was withdrawn on Wednesday.
Career Development Services (CDS) in partnership with BC Housing planned to purchase the property at 1506 Cedar Ave. and submitted an application to the City of Trail to rezone the commercial property in hopes of developing a homeless shelter that would operate 24/7.
A public hearing was scheduled for the Monday, Nov. 23 council meeting, however, on Wednesday, Nov. 18, the application was withdrawn and the hearing cancelled suddenly.
“The plan is still in place to advocate for a year round ongoing shelter in Trail that will meet the complex needs of vulnerable citizens in the community,” said CDS manager Sheila Adcock.
“There was a concern with the process of having a community consultation about a possible location before there was confirmed funding to operate a year round shelter.”
The proposed shelter looked to expand on the current resources and services offered to the community by the cold weather shelter at the Community Inclusion Centre open from November to March.
The new shelter would augment those supports, and include assistance in obtaining and maintaining housing through the Getting to Home program.
The shelter would also provide washroom and shower facilities, laundry facilities, computers, clothing and meals, along with access to supports through an onsite employee of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
“There is no question of the need in this community and we are continuing to work with the city, the funder as well as other community groups that are motivated to provide supports and services to individuals struggling with homelessness in our community,” said Adcock.
The Times received a letter to the editor from a concerned citizen, who urged residents to attend the public hearing, and lend their input to the possibility of a shelter in downtown Trail.
“The homeless have a multitude of complex issues. Their lifestyle results in a variety of health, mental health, addiction, employment, legal, and social difficulties,” the letter-writer stated.
“In order to be a long term success, this planned shelter needs to provide assistance in all these areas. It needs to be staffed 24/7 and to have access to professionals who can provide the assistance needed.”
But as the city’s report points out, having a full-time facility can make a difference.
“It is important to note that under the new proposal, the clientele would have access to the facility both day and night, and would not have to leave the premises each morning, which may alleviate some of the problems experienced with people congregating outside of the (current) shelter’s entrance.”
CDS has put the process on hold, but will continue to seek out options, supports and potential properties for a new and permanent homeless shelter.
“Once we have a confirmed commitment of funding for a year round shelter we will identify a possible location and then continue with the application process with the city at that time,” added Adcock.
“There is no doubt that an ongoing shelter will alleviate a lot of the issues that arise when individuals that are homeless struggle to access the resources required.
“As an organization we will continue to advocate for the rights of all to have housing that meets their unique needs in our community.”