Kitimat extreme weather shelter opens for the year

Organizers emphasize need for volunteers and for donations, particularly of socks.

The committee behind Kitimat’s Extreme Weather Shelter is happy to have the funding secured from BC Housing to re-open the facility this year.

The shelter was formally opened November 1, and will run until March 31.

As was done last year the shelter will be running seven days a week, opening at 8 p.m. and closing at 8 a.m. the following morning.

In the shelter’s first year, when it operated in the Public Safety Building, it would only be opened when the town declared extreme weather, which was a combination of factors including temperature and rain fall.

This year it will again run in the basement of the Kitimat Baptist Church.

To get the program going the shelter’s committee, operating formally under the Kitimat Child Development Centre, received funding of $64,000. That money will help go towards hiring staff who will work the shelter each night.

But the safety guidelines of the shelter means they want at least two people on-site each night, so the group is looking for interested people to assist in volunteering as well.

Training is provided to those who sign up.

Committee member Margaret Warcup says the need for a weather shelter is “a recognition our community has changed.”

Demand remains, she said, even if Kitimat doesn’t have the same housing pressures as it did last year during peak of the KMP construction. Rent prices do remain fairly high.

“There’s still people who can’t support the rents we have,” she said.

Taking lessons from last year, the operators will be looking for sock donations from the community — of course in addition to any time people can spare at the shelter too.

Trying to provide dry socks for people who spend their days outdoors was a nearly impossible task and providing them made a big difference in users of the facility’s comfort.

Warcup says ultimately they still push a ‘Housing First’ initiative, which is a goal that every person should have a place to live. A shelter may be a stop-gap measure but they want all people to be able to find permanent accommodation.

Last year, out of all the nights the shelter was opened, it was accessed for 58.

In total 98 beds were used, by 11 different clients.

Predicting needs is challenging. The group knows there are homeless people in the community but can’t predict how many will use the shelter this year.

All users of the shelter were adults, while any children needing shelter were directed to the Tamitik Status of Women group.

Inquiries on volunteering or donating can be made either to the CDC at 250-632-3144 or the shelter’s cell phone at 250-279-0847.

 

Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read