BC Housing has issued a province-wide tender call for renovations to a property in Cranbrook, to convert it to a homeless shelter.
“BC Housing is planning to convert the vacant building at 209 16th Avenue in Cranbrook into a 40-bed shelter to provide safe and secure places to stay for people experiencing homelessness in the community,” a spokesperson fo BC Housing said in a statement. “We are currently accepting bids from contractors for the renovations needed at the building, which include fire proofing and adding toilets, showers and sleeping pods.”
BC Housing is a provincial Crown agency under the Ministry of Attorney General and Minister responsible for Housing, that develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province.
“We are only reviewing bids from contractors in the Interior who are on BC Housing’s pre-approved list, a roster that was previously selected through a procurement process and is renewed every few years,” BC Housing said.
Bidding closes on Feb. 7, 2022. Once a contractor is selected, the agency will be able to provide the community with more information about a possible opening date.
The proposed site features a large space formerly occupied by a fitness business and is adjacent to a number of offices and services that operate under the auspices of the Community Connections Society of Southeast BC.
The shelter would include 40 sleeping pods in a facility that will be open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by CCSSBC. The shelter is meant as a place for temporary housing for clientele who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, providing meals, laundry and storage.
It will be open for adults 19 years of age or older.
There is currently no formal shelter in Cranbrook, but there are a number of interconnected social, medical, and substance use services available agencies such as CCSSBC — ANKORS, Better at Home, Homeless Outreach and Prevention Program, among others — and Operation Street Angel.
The proposed Cranbrook shelter has been a topic of much discussion in the community, some of it heated. There are over 100 people who are unhoused in Cranbrook, according to a recent interview with ANKORS, one of the frontline agencies who worked with vulnerable populations in Cranbrook
“The shelter has received the brunt of the dialogue and discussion, said Polly Sutherland with ANKORS. “There are only 40 beds, and we have over 100 other people who are unhoused in Cranbrook,” said “Many of our unhoused are already downtown — all of the social services that are available are located within the downtown area.”