Weather Shelter has new home
The Nicola Valley Extreme Weather Shelter is rapidly taking shape at its new home.
Since Friday, a team of volunteers has been moving equipment and supplies from the shelter’s temporary location at 1999 Voght St. to its new address at 1937 Quilchena Ave.
Members of the shelter team have been transferring bunk beds and mattresses, along with other furniture and various kitchen supplies to the new site.
“We will be in the new location on Monday,” board member for the Nicola Valley Shelter and Support Society Ryan Reid said on Thursday. “We’re not going very far and, ultimately, it’s a much better space for us.”
The previous extreme weather shelter saw a steady flow of people make use of the facility and its services in December.
While shift captain Flo Campbell has been away from the shelter since Dec. 23, she said she’s seen first-hand the flow of people using the emergency facility.
“As far as I know, they’ve had people in there every night,” she said. “I think there was maybe one night where they didn’t have any guests.”
Last year, as many as 13 people were reported to have used the emergency shelter in one night. That was when temperatures dipped well below zero in January.
That’s exactly what Campbell expects could happen this month in the new location, which — unlike the former building — has a larger area to accommodate any increase in usage, as well as a laundry facility.
Reid said the new location is an overall improvement from the last.
“It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to start [at the Quilchena Ave. location] because it has much better space, and is much better suited to our needs.”
Reid added that the former location served its purpose without people abusing their privileges.
“Everything has gone very smoothly and we haven’t had any problems with the patrons or anything like that.”
The extreme weather shelter is looking for volunteers to fill shifts, Campbell added.
Six paid shift captains and between 35 and 40 volunteers currently operate the shelter.