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Temporary winter shelter to open in Castlegar on Dec. 1

The Out Of The Cold shelter will open at the previous shelter site at the old Flamingo Motel
Castlegar and District Community Services Society will be operating a shelter and other services from the former Flamingo Hotel. Photo: Betsy Kline

Castlegar and District Community Services Society (CDCSS), will be opening a new 24/7 temporary winter shelter at 1660 Columbia Ave., the former Castlegar shelter site at the old Flamingo Motel property.

CDCSS is a local non-profit agency that provides a range of counselling and support services including homeless outreach support throughout the Castlegar area.

The Out Of The Cold (OOTC) shelter is expected to open by Dec. 1 and CDCSS says it will serve as a vital resource for unhoused individuals in the community who are in need of a safe and supportive place to stay.

CDCSS also ran the previous Way Out Shelter, but has undergone major management changes this year. The new shelter will be operated by new management.

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Financial support and guidance for the new shelter has come from BC Housing. CDCSS management says they are also working in cooperation with the City of Castlegar.

As a temporary winter shelter, OOTC will close on April 30, 2024.

“The province understands the urgent need to get people indoors through the winter months, and will continue to support those who seek shelter,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “Providing shelter is a joint responsibility of municipalities and BC Housing, and we appreciate the City of Castlegar’s partnership, along with CDCSS, to ensure a suitable shelter is available in the community.”

“At CDCSS, we believe that every person deserves a roof over their head, access to hot meals, and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. The organization has been tirelessly working towards ensuring winter shelter operations continued in our city, and the opening of this temporary shelter is another step towards realizing our vision of a community where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring,” said CDCSS in a statement announcing the opening of the shelter.

According to CDCSS, key features of the new shelter include:

• New operations model: There has been a shelter in operation at this location in the past. Moving forward, the program has been redesigned and there will be a new approach, management and staff.

• Safe and welcoming environment: The shelter has been designed to provide a safe and welcoming environment for those seeking a roof over their heads. We are also prioritizing the safety of our staff.

• Capacity: OOTC has the capacity to accommodate 10 individuals each night.

• Services and support: In addition to shelter, CDCSS will provide on-site case management, access to resources, and support services that address the unique needs and circumstances of their guests. These services include direct referrals to income supports, finding housing, basic medical care, harm reduction supplies and a loving community environment.

CDCSS says it is committed to continuing community engagement and collaboration and looks forward to partnering with local businesses, volunteers, and community members.

“CDCSS would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all the individuals, businesses, and organizations that supported the organization in the years prior and have continued to support our Community Connection Centre,” says CDCSS. “It is through your generosity and dedication that we can make a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most.”

For more information about the OOTC temporary shelter winter program, CDCSS, employment opportunities or how you can volunteer or donate, visit or contact

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