Grand Forks city council may be asked to keep the city’s extreme weather shelter open until mid-April, depending on demand and weather conditions in the coming weeks.
Council narrowly voted last fall to approve a temporary use permit (TUP) to operate the shelter at the Old Hardy View Lodge. Boundary Family Services (BFS) has run the shelter since people experiencing homelessness began staying at the facility last December. The shelter is funded by BC Housing.
The shelter has since been well-attended, with no 911 complaints by neighbourhood residents, according to Grand Forks RCMP and BFS’s executive director Darren Pratt. The shelter’s 15 beds have been full or nearly full since temperatures plummeted two weeks ago, he told Grand Forks’ Social Services Advisory Group (SSAG) via Zoom Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 17.
Pratt reminded the SSAG committee that mayor and council can extend the shelter’s TUP, set to expire at the end of March, until April 15.
“Based on the increase that we’ve seen, we definitely have a real justification in our mind to go for that extension,” he said.
“We’re likely to bring that to city council in the next week or two.”
Pratt qualified that BFS “reserved the right” to ask for an extension based on projected weather conditions and shelter demand over the coming weeks.