CMHA Kamloops seeking donations for winter shelter program

By Greg Fry
October 30, 2017 - 2:36pm

KAMLOOPS — With a burst of winter weather expected towards the end of the week in Kamloops, the Canadian Mental Health Association is putting out the call for donations for its soon to be launched winter shelter program.

Executive director Christa Mullaly says they are seeking gently-used, clean pillows, fitted twin sheets and twin comforters. They are also in need of long folding tables and chairs.

The new program, announced earlier this month, will be located at Stuart Wood School.

"This is the first year of a winter shelter. It will run (8 p.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week) Nov. 1 to March 31," she says. "In previous years what we've done is have an extreme weather response whereby we would activate and deactivate based on the temperature. But we found that model challenging."

Mullaly adds those wanting to get a sneak peek of the program are invited to an open house this afternoon (Monday Oct. 30) from 4-6 p.m. at Stuart Wood.

"It's a chance for people to come meet our staff, check out our operation and ask any questions they might have about how our operation is going to work."

The shelter will offer space for 50 people but will not turn away anyone who needs a place to stay.

The temporary shelter is fully funded by BC Housing, and will be operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association. 

"We're really grateful to the City of Kamloops and all of our other community partners for coming together to make this winter shelter happen," Mullaly says. "I think that our commitment to nobody being left outside to freeze to death over the winter is a sentiment shared across service providers and many of the residents that live here as well."


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