Salmon Arm’s emergency shelters continue to accommodate people who need a place to stay, despite the pandemic.
The Salvation Army’s Lighthouse Emergency Shelter will be staying open beyond its normal closing date of March 31 this year.
“We are extending our season as long as we are able through this time of crisis,” said Lieutenant Joel Torrens of the Salvation Army. “We are working to keep the shelter open as long as possible, working out hours with BC Housing and the City of Salmon to make sure this essential service is maintained.”
Normally the shelter closes on April 1.
“We will stay open as long as possible to ensure meeting the needs of the community. We have a plan worked out for continuing operations in the short term but we may have to adjust as we go.”
The 16-bed shelter, which adjoins the Salvation Army Food Bank, is located at 441 Third St. SW.
The SAFE Society, which runs the Salmon Arm Women’s Shelter, continues to welcome woman and children fleeing abuse.
Executive director Jane Shirley said the plan for the transition house includes restrictions, social distancing and self isolation.
“The Transition House services continue with special parameters and strict precautions that are in place to ensure that staff and families at the Transition House are protected as much as possible. Currently there is no public access with no donation drop offs or ‘free public shopping’ days. Things change daily but SAFE is following recommendations from BC Housing, Ministry of Health and other authorities as it impacts those who use our services.”
She said all other programs continue to offer virtual support only, so the Stopping the Violence and PEACE program offices are closed to the public.
Families are being asked to restrict contact and to stay within the shelter if at all possible.