Interior Health offers former nurses’ residence to city for shelter

Interior Health offers former nurses’ residence to city for shelter

The health authority indicated that it would only enter into a lease agreement with the city

Interior Health has agreed to lease the former nurses’ residence near the hospital in Grand Forks to the city, to be used as a winter shelter, an agency representative said last week at a meeting of local stakeholders.

Karen Heric, a registered nurse with Interior Health, told the Grand Forks Social Services Advisory Group (GFSSAG) that her employer “would like a formal proposal from the city” in order to move the process forward.

The news comes after months of deliberations from the GFSSAG and outreach to various community groups, property owners and stakeholders in the effort to find a winter shelter for Grand Forks. Last month, several councillors toured the former nurses’ residence with the city’s building inspector and acting fire chief to assess its feasibility.

The building was most recently the site for the Boundary Women’s Transition House, until that organization moved last winter.

While no lease had been drawn up by last Thursday’s meeting, Heric suggested that she would like to see 24-hour security at the facility, and that renovations would have to be done as well. Bob Huff of Habitat for Humanity in Grand Forks said that he would look into whether his organization could help coordinate with renovations.

“I think there are other things that this committee could do to help with this, to secure the hospital and make them feel good about it,” said Coun. Chris Moslin, who serves as secretary for the advisory group.

But while a building may now be in play for a winter shelter in Grand Forks, no service providers have yet stepped in to run the facility, meaning that the community still needs the provider and council’s approval before BC Housing funding will be made available.

Advisory group members Jan de Haan of Citizens for a Better Grand Forks and Miranda Burdoch of School District 51 have been reaching out to providers outside the Boundary but have received little enthusiasm as of their reports last week. De Haan said that the executive director of the John Howard Society in Kelowna was hesitant to do anything on a small scale in Grand Forks. John Howard is also being pressured right now in Kelowna to open up another shelter in the Okanagan city to serve people who are currently camping there.

The SSAG will be presenting its progress to council at the Dec. 16 committee of the whole.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A map released by the BCCDC Friday, Jan. 15 shows five diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks health area. Photo: Maps: COVID-19 cases in BC, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website
Five COVID-19 cases reported in Grand Forks area

The BC Centre for Disease Control announced the cases in a weekly update Friday, Jan. 15

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin
Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

Les Cleverly, formerly of Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, is suing the city as well as current and former city firefighters over alleged workplace bullying and defamation. File photo.
Former Grand Forks firefighter suing department, city over alleged conspiracy, constructed dismissal

Plaintiff Les Cleverly filed a notice of civil claim with the Supreme Court of BC in last week

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

The court will fix a date for sentencing on Feb. 9. File photo
Powell River man pleads guilty to sexual interference of a minor in Grand Forks

The man is awaiting sentencing pending a psychological assessment

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read