With the City of Kamloops making headway in providing supportive housing, one social worker says it’s not enough.
The executive director of the ASK Wellness Society Bob Hughes says more needs to be done to house the 200-plus homeless residents in the city.
“We got to realize that if even 25 per cent of them are very, very high needs, and I would argue that’s a pretty accurate number, so we’re looking at 50 people that have very acute, very acute behavioral and health needs,” Hughes says.
“We say ‘well we think we’re close enough so let’s stop.’ We wouldn’t do that in terms of providing shelter at the SPCA or any other setting. So it’s not something where I think we want to say ‘we’re close enough, that’s enough.'”
Hughes adds that there’s likely thousands more in the city who are on the edge of homelessness.
He says everyone has a right housing and that it costs much more money to keep people out on the street.
BC Housing plans to open up 114 permanent supportive units early next year, with projects in the works at 259 Victoria Street and 317 Tranquille Road.
Fifty-five shelter spaces on Mission Flats Road are moving in residents beginning today. BC Housing has a three-year lease on that property, and the building will be operated by ASK Wellness with 24-7 staff.