Kamloops - 600 Kingston Avenue

An illustration of a shelter building in a neighborhood.


BC Housing and the City of Kamloops are working together to respond to an urgent need for shelter in the community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the current housing crisis. To that end, BC Housing has leased 600 Kingston Ave to operate a 24/7 shelter. The need within the community is great as there are over 200 individuals experiencing homelessness in Kamloops who need a safe and secure space. Our goal is to open the shelter in early 2022.

This shelter will be built using modular units, which will provide approximately 40 private, secure, and safe spaces for guests. Modular units also minimize construction impact on nearby neighbours and significantly reduce the time required to open the shelter.

Community Engagement

We understand that it is important for you to be informed about this project and to have an opportunity to ask questions. CMHA Kamloops, in partnership with BC Housing and the City of Kamloops, hosted a virtual information session on December 8 to share information about the shelter and its future operations.

If you have questions, we welcome questions and comments below or by email to: communityrelations@bchousing.org(External link).


BC Housing and the City of Kamloops are working together to respond to an urgent need for shelter in the community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the current housing crisis. To that end, BC Housing has leased 600 Kingston Ave to operate a 24/7 shelter. The need within the community is great as there are over 200 individuals experiencing homelessness in Kamloops who need a safe and secure space. Our goal is to open the shelter in early 2022.

This shelter will be built using modular units, which will provide approximately 40 private, secure, and safe spaces for guests. Modular units also minimize construction impact on nearby neighbours and significantly reduce the time required to open the shelter.

Community Engagement

We understand that it is important for you to be informed about this project and to have an opportunity to ask questions. CMHA Kamloops, in partnership with BC Housing and the City of Kamloops, hosted a virtual information session on December 8 to share information about the shelter and its future operations.

If you have questions, we welcome questions and comments below or by email to: communityrelations@bchousing.org(External link).

Have a question or comment? Please add below.

Guidelines for constructive and respectful dialogue

  • Please ensure your question is clear, concise, relevant to the project, and respectful.
  • Review our moderation policy. Questions that do not abide by the moderation policy or guidelines for respectful dialogue may not be answered.
  • We expect everyone will refrain from using language or acting in a way that is discriminating, threatening, abusive, racist or otherwise disrespectful. Discrimination or abusive language of any kind will not be tolerated.
  • Your question will appear once our team has answered it. If your question has already been answered, we may respond privately.
loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
  • Thank you for the webinar. I don't believe you were able to get to one of my questions so I've come here. I’m just reflecting on the scale of this project. I really don’t know what a “right size” is but it does feel like 40 people (clients) is a very large number. It feels like a lot of moving parts with a lot of unpredictability. Is this a “normal” size? Is there a way to scale it up? Say start with 6 to 10 people, learn what works etc, then grow?

    Garnet asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry and for participating in out information session yesterday, Garnet. We have to meet people where they are and get people indoors as soon as we can to help them start their better life journey. BC Housing follows the widely recognized and proven Housing First model and we know it works. The more shelter spaces we provide, the more lives we can potentially save by giving people supports for healthy life choices and bringing them indoors. This is a typical sized shelter (often up to 50 ) and BC Housing & CMHA are very successful rolling out projects of this size. 

    CMHA is a very experienced non-profit operator. CMHA was founded in 1918 and it is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory, CMHA provides advocacy, programs and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. We are confident in CMHA's knowledge and expertise as a shelter operator.  

    I kindly invite you to learn more about CMHA and their experience with helping our communities here: https://cmha.ca/

  • Are you going to be compensating the daycare that is closing down because of this being built? Many parents are pulling their children out of this location due to safety concerns.

    DaniellaVas asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry, Daniella. BC Housing and CMHA Kamloops are committed to working with the daycares to address concerns that may arise and to be a good neighbour. We all want safe neighbourhoods and the safety of shelter guests, staff and the surrounding community is a priority. BC Housing, the City of Kamloops and CMHA Kamloops are committed to helping the shelter integrate in a way that supports a safe neighbourhood for everyone. It is our hope the daycare will stay open.

  • How does the city plan to prioritize bylaw and RCMP patrols in the surrounding neighborhoods to monitor safety of all residents, including the shelter population? How does the city plan to prioritize bylaw and RCMP staffing to respond effectively to safety concerns?

    Jessica asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry, Jessica. The Community Service Officers (CSOs) will conduct foot and/or bike patrols along the Rivers Trail from Westmount School to Richmond Park, and in Westmount Park. The City of Kamloops is working with crime prevention and RCMP to increase emphasis in the area, which may include additional patrols of the Westmount neighbourhood. Additionally, the city will be adding a sharps disposal container in Westmount Park, specific location has not yet been determined.

    The City of Kamloops is encouraging and helping support the formation of Block Watches in adjacent residential areas (Westmount/Schubert) Information on the program is available at http://kamloops.ca/BlockWatch

    On top of that, the city is conducting a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) assessment of the area and developing plans to implement recommendations, which may include lighting improvements in key areas.

    For specific inquiries regarding the city and its policies and bylaws, please contact the city directly at info@kamloops.ca or 250-828-3311.

    We understand that it is important for you to be informed about this project and to have an opportunity to ask questions and we do want to hear from you. BC Housing will be holding an information session with the City of Kamloops on December 8th, 2021, to answer questions about this shelter. Please register at this Let’s Talk page: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/kamloops-kingston-avenue or click this link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kingston-shelter-community-information-session-registration-219333581647

  • In reply to you response about housing. You state that a few years back the homeless in Kamloops was +or- 200 people and now is over 200. How many housing units have already been built? The amount of homeless does not continue to increase at this rate unless they are coming in from OUT OF TOWN. Why is Kamloops the dumping ground for these people? Why cant these units be built in Sahali or Aberdeen? Why run down the class of life for the taxpayers of Kamloops. NO MORE FREEBEES!!!!!!!!!!!

    trappper asked 6 months ago

    Thank you again for your inquiry, Trappper. We appreciate you have concerns about the situation in your community. The most recent data shows 80% of homeless folks in Kamloops are locals. Of those who moved to the city, the number one reason why people moved to town: family. No matter where someone is from, we must lead with compassion and kindness and build the housing people need.

    People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group and have had different pathways into homelessness. People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use.  

    In Kamloops, 64 new homes with support services have opened since 2017 and there are another 131 underway. BC Housing works with local housing partners to provide housing solutions for the local community. We have to meet people where they are at, and our programs are fueled by the community needs.  

  • Has it been considered to have this location be a sober housing unit for the homeless who don't have addiction challenges? This would create a better housing situation for the residents who may have families or who are sober and need an environment away from drug/alcohol temptations to stay sober while getting back on their feet. This would also ease many of the neighborhood concerns from vulnerable people such as families with young kids, elderly, and people's with disabilities who regularly use the Rivers Trail and parks.

    Michele asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry and sharing your ideas with us, Michele, it is highly appreciated. Kamloops is in the midst of three crises: a housing crisis, an opioid crisis, and a pandemic. This has put significant pressure on everyone, especially those who can’t afford a home and may be experiencing other challenges. People are sleeping outside with nowhere else to go. This is unacceptable and is resulting in an immediate need to take action about bring people indoors. 

    People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. BC Housing does not discriminate against a person based on their level of need. Only people who are experiencing homelessness would be eligible to stay at the temporary shelter and the intake process would prioritize Kamloops residents.

    Incoming residents of this shelter should not be assumed to have criminal tendencies or wish to bring violence to the neighbourhood.  It is important to note that not everyone who moves into shelters is struggling with addiction or substance use. Addiction is a health condition and illness, not a personal failing—we must treat it as such and provide solutions. BC Housing follows the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. A harm reduction approach means staff are available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use. To help people who use substances, we need to first give them a safe and secure place to sleep, food to eat, and access to services so that they can move forward with their lives. 

    BC Housing and CMHA’s (the non-profit operator) number one priority is to ensure that our programs do not disrupt your lifestyle, bring panic, frustration and other concerns. We do so by making the guests/residents sign a “good neighbour agreement”. The agreement sets guidelines for CMHA and the clients to respect the neighbourhood, be good friends and neighbours, clean up and pick up litter around the buildings and neighbouring properties and ensure that complaints are addressed as they come. There are clear steps in the good neighbour agreement when individuals breach it.   

    CMHA will ensure the river trail and the areas nearby will be managed by their staff, client and/or security. They also have a routine clean-up crew who perform daily clean up and are part of their Peer Program known as the Madison Reid Peer Program. Madison was a client who was part of the peer program and a strong representative until she passed. The program has grown in her memory to over 70+ clients who are part of the programs in all CMHA’s locations and these clients continue to keep the neighbourhood around their programs clean. You will see them with High Vis Vest, cleaning the neighbourhood but also engaging and chatting with community members like yourself. 

    Unfortunately, we have a housing shortage, and we are working hard to move individuals into safe affordable housing. Our community is working hard to create more housing, the sooner we can get this done, the faster we shift from shelters into more permanency for individuals. 

    CMHA’s 24/7 staff and security would be easily accessible and perform perimeter checks in addition to the above commitment. As a mental health agency, they provide extra supports for our community through their mandates and vision; ensuring that their programs create a sense of hope for the individuals who use it. Daily, these individuals have opportunities to learn new skills, employment opportunity with real wages (like the Madison Reid Program), access to recovery support and a sense of livelihood. These practices keep their clients motivated to achieve their goals of independence. We know that this has led to great success currently in their programs and you can read about the outcomes here: https://kamloops.cmha.bc.ca/program-outcomes/ 

    Michele, we understand that it is important for you to be informed about this project and to have an opportunity to ask questions and we do want to hear from you. BC Housing will be holding an information session with the City of Kamloops on December 8th, 2021, to answer questions about this shelter. Please register at the project’s Let’s Talk page: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/kamloops-kingston-avenue or click here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kingston-shelter-community-information-session-registration-219333581647

  • How will homeless be able to travel from kingston shelter to the resources they need? Too far and they will be forced to walk down the trail over the bridge and back every day. Schubert is part of the rivers trail, a boon for all kamloops citizens, designed for recreational use... biking jogging, walking....used more than the memorial arena ever was. What consideration was this given? A better long term plan for residents and homeless must be made and the city and province have failed, allowing an emergency situation.

    KEVIN Walker asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to write to us, Kevin. I recognize this is a frustrating situation and we are working on solutions. As you had mentioned, Kamloops is in an emergency situation where people are sleeping outside in the cold without anywhere else to go. This is unacceptable and requires immediate action to bring people indoors. This is an emergency situation where we need to move quickly. Regarding your concerns about the site selection, this site was chosen after extensive discussions with City of Kamloops. The City of Kamloops brought forward this property to BC Housing as an appropriate location for shelter. BC Housing agrees this site is well-suited to the current needs of the Kamloops community. The property is currently vacant, which enables construction to begin right away. The lot at 600 Kingston Ave. is big enough to accommodate the size of the building that’s needed.

    We understand that it is important for you to be informed about this project and to have an opportunity to ask questions and we do want to hear from you. 

    BC Housing will be holding an information session with the City of Kamloops on December 8th, 2021, to answer questions about this shelter. 

  • Why is Kamloops the dumping ground for the homeless of BC? What is the benefit of degrading property values when these places are opened in residential area. It is a fact that crime goes up in these area when these places are opened!!!!!!!! Let the areas where these people are from take care of their own. Why is it the more there are built the more show up in town? NO MORE FREE RIDES ON THE TAXPAYERS OF KAMLOOPS

    trappper asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry. Kamloops has a severe housing crisis with growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness. Temperatures are now regularly dropping below freezing overnight so it is a life-or-death situation. The COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent opioid crisis has put an increased strain on services. More people are experiencing homelessness that previously, and pandemic protocols such as physical distancing mean that fewer people are allowed in shelters. The City of Kamloops and BC Housing have been in regular communication about the need for additional shelters in Kamloops, especially during the cold winter months. Only people who are experiencing homelessness would be eligible to stay at the temporary shelter and the intake process would prioritize Kamloops residents. 

    Recently, the City released the report of the 2021 City of Kamloops Point in Time Count. The PiT Count estimates the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in Kamloops at a specific time. It took place in April of this year, with 206 people identified as experiencing homelessness, in comparison to the 201 identified in 2018. Of those who responded about their length of time in Kamloops, 76% have lived in Kamloops for at least one year (56% have lived in Kamloops for 6 years or longer) and only 13 people reported living in Vancouver prior to Kamloops. I have included the links to information, if you are interested: https://www.kamloops.ca/sites/default/files/docs/our-community/scd_pointintimecount_8-5x11_oct2021_report_final_web.pdf

    I share this with you, as this is the most current local data and information on those experiencing homelessness, being reputable and government funded/conducted.

    We recognize this is not a permanent housing solution and we remain committed to working on affordable housing solutions for your community and for all British Columbians. We do want to hear from you, please join us at the community information session with the City of Kamloops on December 8, 2021 - 4:00pm-6:00pm.  

    Please register for the session on this Let's Talk page: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/kamloops-kingston-avenue

  • Will there be supervision for the homeless after their move in? Will they be given "Life"s Lessons" and how to learn responsibilities in all aspects besides shelter and food ?

    Ms Clark asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry, Ms Clark. The site will be managed 24/7 by CMHA, an experienced and professional non-profit operator. This site will be providing people with necessary health and support services including:  

    • safe warm beds
    • daily meals  
    • laundry & shower facilities
    • support from staff on their path to wellness  
    • connections to community resources and housing options

    As a mental health agency, CMHA provide extra supports for our community through their mandates and vision; ensuring that their programs create a sense of hope for the individuals who use it. Daily, these individuals have opportunities to learn new skills, employment opportunity with real wages (like the Madison Reid Program), access to recovery support and a sense of livelihood. These practices keep their clients motivated to achieve their goals of independence. We know that this has led to great success currently in their programs and you can read about the outcomes here: https://kamloops.cmha.bc.ca/program-outcomes/  

  • What is the estimated cost to build this shelter? Will there be wraparound services? Is this a damp shelter?

    DMoores asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry. The sites will be managed 24/7 by CMHA, an experienced and professional non-profit operator. This site will save lives, providing people with necessary health and support services including:   

    • safe warm beds
    • daily meals  
    • laundry & shower facilities
    • support from staff on their path to wellness  
    • connections to community resources and housing options 


    Shelter guests may make personal choices regarding their consumption habits. BC Housing follows the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. A harm reduction approach means staff are available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use.   

    In order to help people who use substances, we need to first give them a safe and secure place to sleep, food to eat, and access to services so that they can move forward with their lives. It is important to note that not everyone who moves into shelters is struggling with addiction or substance use. Addiction is a health condition and illness, not a personal failing—we must treat it as such and provide solutions. However, there will be an Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) located in the shelter for the safety of the residents. 

    Information about shelter costs can be found on our website.

  • Why was there no consolation between with the community and business between June 2021 and November 2021

    Doug Nystoruk asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your inquiry, Doug. This is an emergency situation where we need to move quickly. BC Housing has notified neighbours and businesses surrounding all shelter locations. They have been provided with information on construction and who to call with concerns or for more information. Please join us for the upcoming community information session on December 8th, 2021.

Page last updated: 02 Mar 2022, 02:11 PM