A daytime warming area for vulnerable people who find themselves outside in extremely cold conditions in Williams Lake is being offered for the second year in a row.
City crews were at the Boitanio Park picnic shelter installing tarps in the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 8. and the city’s chief administrative officer Gary Muraca said heaters will be brought in as well.
“We have been discussing with our community partners and provincial agencies about the need for a warming area,” Muraca told the Tribune.
“We anticipate that it will be operational from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day for a two-week period.”
Muraca said everyone recognizes the temporary daytime shelter is not the solution to homelessness in the Williams Lake area, but supplements the ‘great work’ of local groups that tirelessly dedicate themselves to advocate for the homeless.
After-hour options are being discussed and that information will be provided when available, he added.
Rosanna McGregor, executive director of the Cariboo Friendship Society, confirmed Monday the society’s shelter on Third Avenue South and the expanded shelter at the Longhouse above the Stampede Grounds have people staying in them at night.
Last spring the city set up a shelter at the same spot in Boitanio Park due to cold weather and COVID-19 precautions forcing other facilities to close.