Boundary Family Services has operated an extreme weather shelter out of Grand Forks’ Old Hardy View Lodge since last December. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Boundary Family Services has operated an extreme weather shelter out of Grand Forks’ Old Hardy View Lodge since last December. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks’ shelter nearing capacity amid freezing temperatures

The shelter has beds for 15 people experiencing homelessness

Grand Forks’ extreme weather shelter has been near full up since freezing temperatures gripped the city last weekend, according to Boundary Family Services (BFS), which operates the shelter.

READ MORE: Grand Forks City council approves permit for winter homeless shelter

Darren Pratt, Executive Director at BFS, said the shelter at the Old Hardy View Lodge has taken in an average of 13-14 clients every night this week, verging on the shelter’s capacity of 15. Outreach staff at BFS have meanwhile stayed “active at the street level,” giving vital necessities to those who choose to sleep outside, he said.

The recent demand for beds at the shelter comes roughly a month after BC Housing, which funds the shelter, justified the shelter in a statement to The Gazette. “It’s clear that there is a significant need for this type of assistance,” the agency said after many people experiencing homelessness had stayed at the shelter over the winter holidays.

RELATED: Grand Forks shelter is working at Old Hardy View Lodge, says BC Housing

Grand Forks RCMP has not received any complaints about the shelter from neighbouring residents since the shelter opened last December, Sgt. Darryl Peppler told The Gazette Thursday, Feb. 11. Mounties have been called to help staff on a few occasions, making no arrests, he added.

Temperatures are forecast to hit a low of -18 C Thursday night, Feb. 11, with cold temperatures expected to continue over the weekend, according to Weather Canada.

City council narrowly approved the shelter’s temporary use permit last November.


 

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laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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