A memorandum agreement is being signed with between the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Friendship Society for the Longhouse at the Stampede Grounds to be used as temporary emergency shelter if needed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A memorandum agreement is being signed with between the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Friendship Society for the Longhouse at the Stampede Grounds to be used as temporary emergency shelter if needed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo Friendship Society plans for temporary shelter expansion at longhouse

It would not be used to house people with COVID-19

A memorandum of understanding between the city and the Cariboo Friendship Society for the Longhouse at the Stampede Grounds will have to be amended.

Last week council unanimously approved a draft agreement for it to be used for housing people with COVID to isolate based on a presentation made by the Cariboo Friendship Society executive director Rosanna McGregor and B.C. Housing in July 2020.

Read more: Longhouse proposed for possible COVID-19 housing in Williams Lake

On Monday, however, McGregor clarified to the Tribune that the Longhouse will be used for temporary emergency shelter expansion and will not be used to house anyone that tests positive with COVID-19, contrary to the presentation made in July.

The temporary expansion will allow physical distancing to be maintained.

Mayor Walt Cobb said Tuesday the plans have changed and city staff has been in discussion with the CFS to clarify exactly what those plans are.

“We don’t know yet if it has to come back to council for further clarification or whether it’s just a matter of amendment,” Cobb said.

McGregor said there will be room in the Longhouse for 20 small pods with a bed in each one.

A BC Housing spokesperson noted in an e-mailed response that it will be providing funding for the initiative and recognized supports are needed in Williams Lake to help people experiencing homelessness during this difficult time.

Clients from the downtown Cariboo Friendship Society shelter will move to the Longhouse and will be able to properly social distance.

The Society’s current shelter rooms have bunk beds that do not allow for proper social distancing.

Each pod will have a single bed, nightstand and bedding.

The temporary shelter expansion will operate from Dec. 1, 2020, to March 31, 2020 and the Cariboo Friendship Society will have the option of extending the site if needed.

In Williams Lake, BC Housing has secured an additional site with six spaces for people experiencing homelessness to self-isolate, which includes those who don’t have symptoms but are immuno-compromised or who have a high risk of contracting the virus.

To date, BC Housing said it has secured 893 self-isolation spaces across 44 sites in the Interior region.

BC Housing and its partners are continuing to look at a number of ways to bring people inside and options continue to evolve along with the needs of the community and said it will provide more information if and when additional indoor sheltering sites are made available.

McGregor also said the society will be hiring and anyone interested in working at the temporary shelter from Dec. 1 to March 31, 2021 is encouraged to inquire.

Read more: 911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

homeless housingWilliams Lake

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

Just Posted

Do you have a Roses and Raspberries? Email editor@wltribune.com. Angie Mindus photo
ROSES AND RASPBERRIES: ‘Mistleroses’ for Santa-sized bags of gifts at Seniors Village

It was as wonderful as discovering unexpected gifts under a real tree!

Williams Lake and the Chilcotin is part of a community cluster declared by Interior Health Jan. 20, 2021. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
53 more COVID-19 cases linked to ‘social gatherings’ in Williams Lake: Interior Health

Cariboo Chilcotin schools have seen a surge in COVID-19 exposures

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Esk’etemc First Nation (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins takes part in Secwepemc Health Caucus’s “Raising Our Spirits” ceremony Friday, Jan. 22. (Secwepemc Health Caucus Facebook image)
Secwepemc Nation raises spirits through song

More than 150 join virtual ceremony

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read