Downtown weather shelter causing concern

By James Peters
November 21, 2017 - 4:58pm

KAMLOOPS — Just a few weeks after it opened, the temporary extreme weather shelter at the former Stuart Wood Elementary School is already the subject of complaints from neighbours.

Some of those neighbours came to Kamloops council during its regular meeting Tuesday.

They said certain clients of the shelter were making the area unsafe, including for children catching the bus to school nearby.

Mayor Ken Christian says the City is well aware of the problem, and is looking for ways to minimize it.

"We have a presence of bylaw officers at the site. We have dispatched parks staff to the site. We have spoken with the school district with respect to moving a bus stop from that location. We have talked to the RCMP about their response to emergency situations," said Christian.

"We are engaging our staff in terms of looking at this particular situation. Is the shelter in the wrong place? Is it too big? Is it housing too different populations that maybe should not be mixed? Those are the kind of questions we're asking of staff, and we expect to be reporting back to the community about those over the next little while."

The shelter is operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association, and opened November 1.

"It is clearly on our radar," said Christian. "There are some ongoing concerns with behaviours in and around that site. That is a temporary winter shelter to meet an urgent need in the city of Kamloops."

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