The extreme weather shelter at the Old Hardy View Lodge hasn’t received any complaints by area residents as of Jan. 4, according to a statement by BC Housing and Boundary Family Services (BFS), which fund and operate the shelter. The agency said there had been no emergency calls to Grand Forks first responders since the shelter opened Dec. 1.
“Not everyone will agree with opening a shelter in Grand Forks,” the statement explained. “However, it’s clear that there is a significant need for this type of assistance.” The statement added that the shelter is benefiting the City of Grand Forks and the shelter’s clients.
The shelter at 2320 78th Ave. provides temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness. Grand Forks city council granted BC Housing a temporary use permit last November, allowing BFS to operate the facility until March. Written feedback from around 60 residents had called on council to reject the permit by a roughly two-thirds margin, according to city hall.
Meanwhile, BC Housing said the shelter had been well-used, taking in an average of 12 clients every night over the winter holidays. As many as 14 clients stayed on some nights, verging on the shelter’s capacity of 15, according to BFS Director Darren Pratt.
The agency stressed that, “without this shelter, people would be forced to sleep outside.” Clients would otherwise go without warm bedding and healthy meals, as well as washroom facilities and “community connection and friendly faces.”
The shelter is run 24/7 by two BFS staff, according to the statement.