CMHA to offer 'safe suites' in Kamloops

By Greg Fry
January 31, 2018 - 9:00am Updated: February 1, 2018 - 9:01am

KAMLOOPS — Thursday will be an important day for some seeking shelter in Kamloops.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops in partnership with ASK Wellness through Homeless Partnering Strategy funding are going to be launching an older adult safe suite.

"It is an apartment in a regular apartment building, somewhere in Kamloops of which I cannot disclose the location, that will be available for folks over the age of 60 that are experiencing homelessness that are also experiencing perhaps violence and or exploitation in their lives that need a safe place to be," says Executive Director Christa Mullaly.

"(It's a place) where they can be supported by professionals that will help them transition into a regular housing opportunity after the safe suite."

She says there are a lot of people who may qualify.

"We think about the other end of the age spectrum, there are a number of individuals that are either still accessing welfare or disability benefits over and above the age of 60," Mullaly says. "If they didn't have access to a private pension plan or have transitioned into federal pension services through CPP or OAS."

She says there are also people over the age of 70 that are absolutely homeless.

"These are folks that have often had a breakdown in their families, have perhaps lost a spouse due to an illness or a death at that point in their lives. Often times their kids, if they have any, are grown and aren't local anymore."

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