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Williams Lake City Staff Working Towards Long Term Shelter

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A report was given to City Council in regards to the Hamilton Hotel temporary shelter, and any updates surrounding it.

The report detailed the number of occupants in the shelter, along with different positives this shelter has brought.

Before the shelter began, the Canadian Mental Health Association implemented the BC Housing standard communication with surrounding businesses and residents. This allowed BC Housing to knock on doors and provide info about the shelter, or left a pamphlet with numbers to call if people had any questions.

During City Council, it was brought up that BC Housing should do this once again to potentially get feedback or concerns with the shelter.

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The shelter was originally set to be open during the winter months, but due to March being a cold month, there was urgency to extend the contract.

Some of the positives the report went over were less bylaw interactions, no need for a temporary warming shelter in the Boitanio Park gazebo, and less people sleeping on vents and stairwells. This led to less complaints from businesses.

During the winter months, the number of occupants at the shelter continued to grow from 28 in December to 42 in March. People in need of shelter at the Hamilton Hotel would fill out an application for month to month sheltering.

City staff is working along side BC Housing to have a more long term solution. The report noted that they’re looking at expanding or rebuilding Jubilee Place.

City Council looks to have another report on the shelter in September.

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