The city has earmarked a potential new site for a temporary shelter in the Gulch and will receive public input at the next Trail council meeting on Monday, Feb. 13.
In a Feb. 2 notice in the Trail Times, the city announced that council will consider passing a resolution that will authorize a temporary use permit to BC Housing for the construction of a modular homeless shelter on vacant city property at 585 Rossland Ave.
“The use of the property for shelter services is intended to be temporary in nature until a more suitable location can be secured,” read the notice.
The Rossland Avenue city lot was home to the community garden before it was moved to Riverside Avenue.
The proposed building will replace the current shelter at the Community Inclusion Centre on Bay Avenue.
“The application submitted by BC Housing indicates that the modular building proposed would have nine double occupancy rooms (18 tenants), but could support up to 30 tenants during extreme weather conditions,” said Corporate Administrator Michelle McIsaac.
The city and BC Housing has been under pressure from residents and downtown businesses to relocate the shelter. The temporary permit will provide a place of respite for the city’s unhoused for a term of three years, with a one-time renewal option.
On Sept. 26, 2022, council agreed to extend the current temporary shelter in downtown Trail for one year, after BC Housing requested a three-year extension. That extension will expire Sept. 30 this year.
BC Housing representative, Tyler Baker, said they will continue to look for a more permanent location.
Currently, there is no start up or completion date for the new modular build, but the city expects it will be expedited.
“BC Housing would try to fast track the construction as much as possible recognizing the dire need in the community,” said McIsaac. “But if the temporary use permit is approved by council, there would be still some architectural and engineering work needing to be done for building permit purposes that would identify any retrofits needed to the modular units to meet fire and life safety requirements.”
She adds, “BC Housing is very cognizant of the expiration of the temporary use permit under which the expanded shelter is currently operating.”
The city invites residents whose interests are affected by the proposed permit to attend the Feb. 13 council meeting in person or online.
Those who wish to join via Zoom can register in advance by email. Written submissions are also welcome. To register or to send written concerns and/or comments email email@example.com prior to noon Feb. 13.