Out of the Cold program busier than anticipated in first week

By Jill Sperling
November 7, 2017 - 12:25pm Updated: November 7, 2017 - 5:34pm

KAMLOOPS — As the weather turns colder Kamloops' homeless population has a few options for places to get warm. 

One of the city's longest running shelters, located in the basement of St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, opened earlier this month. 

The Out of the Cold program provides a hot meal every Wednesday and Sunday night, enough beds for 28 overnight visitors, and breakfast in the morning. 

Board Chair Bud Forbes says the first week of operations was somewhat busier than expected.

"We weren't quite sure how we were going to operate this year because we have the winter weather shelter operating, which is going great guns," Forbes said. "We thought maybe our numbers would be down, but our very first night we had 28 come with 18 sleeping over, and this last Sunday we had 38 come and we had 24 sleeping over. We can only handle 30 at the most, we're comfortable with 28."

Unlike the new Winter Shelter, Out of the Cold is 100 per cent donations funded. 

Forbes says he's grateful there are other options for the homeless when Out of the Cold is over capacity. 

"It's really important that we have a number of facilities in town that will look after them, and I think that's one of the reasons they like coming here," Forbes said. "We've got New Life Mission that's open all day long, they can get food, it's warm. Now we have the winter weather shelter that will house them, we have our shelter that's open two nights a week, there's just lots of facilities for them here in Kamloops, and I think that's why they stay."

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