Castlegar and District Community Services Society is operating a shelter and other services from the former Flamingo Motel. Photo: Betsy Kline

Castlegar and District Community Services Society is operating a shelter and other services from the former Flamingo Motel. Photo: Betsy Kline

Castlegar council receives operational update from homeless shelter

The shelter is now operating at the old Flamingo Motel site

Castlegar city council has received an operational update from Castlegar & District Community Services on the temporary warming shelter at the Flamingo Motel.

According to a letter dated April 9 from shelter manager Ray Griffiths included in the April 19 council agenda package, the shelter has been housing an average of 11 people a night and two people are staying in the subsidized housing units.

Outreach nurses have been on site once and tended to three resident’s needs. On-site AA meetings have been attended by several residents.

The shelter has also been assisting an additional four people a day with things such as showers, food, counseling and a place to rest during the day.

“We continue to hand out harm reduction material and try to educate the people that we are trying to assist, reminding them of the latest drug warnings from the IHA and offering drug testing,” said Griffiths.

Shelter staff have dealt with several complaints from neighbours, and Griffith reports they have addressed the issues.

As a result of complaints, one person received an immediate ban from the property, one person received a final warning while and one other resident also received a warning. Staff have also cleaned up garbage left by residents off shelter property.

A letter from Castlegar Toyota owner Craig Kalawsky, dated March 30, was also included in the agenda package.

Kalawsky expressed several concerns and complaints regarding the shelter including finding people sleeping and using drugs on his property as well as loitering in the show room.

He also asked the city what efforts are being made to ensure the safety of the area.

Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow said city staff have encouraged Kalawsky and Griffiths to talk directly to each other to try and resolve some of the issues.

READ MORE: City of Castlegar purchases downtown building for housing and relocating Kootenay Gallery

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