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Unified Community Effort: Comprehensive Services and Supports for Kamloops' Most Vulnerable

The Kamloops Access Hub Leadership Committee, which formed in fall 2023, is hosted by the City of Kamloops and includes representatives from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, shelter and social housing operators, the business improvement associations, and government agencies. The vision for the access hub is to create 24/7 sites where unhoused individuals can access shelter; meals; hygienic facilities; culturally safe social and health services; amenity space; and connections to housing, supportive employment, and wellness opportunities.

The community partners and government agencies at the Kamloops Access Hub table work in coordination to provide a range of programs, services, and supports for unhoused and unsheltered individuals in Kamloops. The following is a high-level summary of the programs, services, and supports these organizations have available for our community’s most vulnerable members.

Ask Wellness

Ask Wellness provides outreach, housing, health, education, employment, and emotional support services for marginalized and at-risk persons.

  • Street Outreach: applying the Vulnerability Assessment Tool, providing referrals to housing, and offering case management
  • Overdose Prevention: offering naloxone training, supervised consumption, drug checking, Tablet Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment program
  • Community Services Officer Outreach Response Program: a City-funded program that pairs outreach workers with Community Service Officers to provide support services for unsheltered individuals.
  • Clean Team Supportive Employment Program: a City-funded peer support program that keeps streets and public spaces clean from waste, litter, graffiti, and substance use paraphernalia, in partnership with the North Shore Business Improvement Association and community partner agencies
  • SHOP Outreach: supporting individuals who engage in sex work

Ask Wellness has partnered with Community Living BC to provide an outreach worker who delivers support and services to adults with developmental disabilities who may also struggle with mental illness. ASK Wellness also holds a contract with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to support individuals with no fixed address who require assistance connecting to the ministry for support.

A Way Home Kamloops

A Way Home Kamloops is dedicated to serving children and youth aged 26 and under with appropriate housing and support to help them thrive.

  • Youth Housing First: providing supportive housing for children and youth aged 26 and under, including life skills training
  • Safe Suites/Katherine’s Place: offering 24/7 supportive transitional housing for youth aged 18–25, including life skills training
  • Youth Drop-In: providing housing intakes and connections with financial and housing supports 2:00–4:00 pm on Wednesdays

A Way Home Kamloops contributes to the community through various programs by being a voice at the following tables:

  • BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness: province-wide advocacy for housing reform
  • Employment and Education Committee: a partnership with WorkBC and Thompson River University to provide seamless transitions to education and employment
  • Wrapforce: a community table to fill gaps for youths
  • Youth Action Committee: youth oversight over programs and support at A Way Home Kamloops

Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops

The Kamloops branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association creates awareness, provides education, and supports individuals and families living with mental health or substance use concerns.

Shelter Programs

  • Emerald Centre: a 40-bed low-barrier shelter and service site offering meals, case management, addiction support, community connection, and life-skills guidance
  • Merit Place: a 50-bed low-barrier shelter focusing on mental illness recovery
  • Moira House: a 41-unit second stage shelter offering support in life skills and housing transition.

Case Management and Support Systems

  • Offering services such as housing assistance, landlord liaison, subsidy or income support access, and Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Community Programs

  • Envision Outreach Shuttle: providing a shuttle service offering outreach and transportation to shelter spaces
  • Consumer Facilitation Fund: providing $150 per fiscal year to individuals diagnosed with mental health and/or substance-related disorders for projects and courses promoting mental well-being
  • Madison Reed Peer Program: engaging residents in community clean-up activities, offering a pathway to employment and community engagement, with over 100+ participants.
  • Community Services Officer Outreach Response Program: a City-funded program that pairs outreach workers with Community Service Officers to provide support services for unsheltered individuals.
  • Clean Team Supportive Employment Program: a City-funded peer support program that keeps streets and public spaces clean from waste, litter, graffiti, and substance use paraphernalia, in partnership with the North Shore Business Improvement Association and community partner agencies

Other Programs

  • Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT): offering support in crises or traumatic incidents, ensuring quick, non-judgmental, and confidential support with a volunteer group of agency employees

Connective 

Connective is a community-based social service agency that creates safe, healthy, and inclusive communities.

Programs

  • Employment Programs: helping people find and maintain employment, including priority to those who are multi-barriered as well as survivors of violence. Many of the employment programs allow for housing support and funding.
  • Rent Subsidy Program: offering rent subsidies alongside BC Housing.
  • Indigenous Outreach: offering formal outreach support to individuals moving through the First Nations Court
  •  Domestic Violence Programming: supporting individuals who experience violence in their relationships
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Supports: offering a mental health and substance use housing outreach worker

Interior Community Services 

Interior Community Services offers community living, affordable housing, and a wide range of prevention and supports to children, youth, and families.

Youth Support

  • Kamloops Youth Shelter: offering four emergency shelter beds for youth aged 13–18 
  • Youth supported housing: 10 units of program housing for youth who can live semi-independently with basic supports. 
  • Youth Street Outreach: offering a low-barrier harm reduction outreach for youth aged 13–25 through both a drop-in centre and community outreach services. The program offers laundry, showers, and scheduled clinic days in partnership with Interior Health.
  • Mobile Crisis Response (a part of the Youth Street Outreach program): pairing a youth outreach worker with a Community Services Officer from 4:00 pm to midnight Tuesdays through Saturdays in partnership with the Community Services Officer Outreach Response Program

Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society

With a status-free open-door policy, the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society is dedicated to empowering the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities of Kamloops and surrounding areas.

Cllémentem Mini-Storage 

  • Open six days a week, 9:00 am–5:00 pm
  • Storage, showers, free meal, clothes, tents, and tarps 
  • Harm reduction supplies and daily front-line worker support from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction  

Cultural Services

  • Men’s and women’s sweats once a month—posters are distributed in the community

Addiction Services

  • Community-based worker who provides assessment and advocacy

The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed offers street-level services and programs for unhoused/unsheltered individuals.

  • Street Outreach in Partnership with the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association: connecting an outreach worker with Community Services, RCMP, parole officers, and the business community
  • Health and Wellness Centre: providing health services, advocacy, tax program, and counselling
  • Dayroom Drop-In Centre: providing a community gathering place and social connection for unhoused and vulnerable individuals during daytime hours
  • Clean Team Supportive Employment Program: a City-funded peer support program that keeps streets and public spaces clean from waste, litter, graffiti, and substance use paraphernalia, in partnership with the North Shore Business Improvement Association and community partner agencies
  • West End Shelter: providing 22 shelter beds
  • Harbour House: providing 12 beds in a women-only shelter 
  • The Gathering Place: a seasonal day space that provides connection to services and supports for unhoused individuals

Out of the Cold Shelter Society 

The Out of the Cold Shelter Society operates as a shelter provider offering a warm, welcoming, safe, respectful, and inclusive environment.

Overnight Shelter

  • Laundry, showers, clothing, and meals
  • Harm reduction and safe consumption (for shelter guests only)
  • Recovery Programs: Stories of Hope, SMART recovery, and courses on communications and anger management

Outreach Team

  • Outreach: providing the Vulnerability Assessment Tool, referrals, assistance with navigating support systems, case management, and client education
  • Business and Community Support: building relationships with neighbours who have concerns or questions

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Community Integration Specialists work with community partners to help people access culturally appropriate services. The Specialists work together to connect people with what they need when and where they need it.

Interior Health

Interior Health’s community mental health and substance use locations can be found on Lansdowne Street and King Street and offer various services and supports.

  • Overdose Prevention Site: services include basic nursing services, the Vulnerability Assessment Tool, referrals, access to opioid agonist therapy, drug checking, etc.
  • Substance Use Outreach Nurses: offering nurses who are trained as nurse prescribers for opioid agonist therapy and weekly in-reach clinics to shelters and supportive housing sites
  • Nurse Practitioner Support: offering basic wound care and sexual health resources
  • Outreach Case Management Teams: providing coordinated care for individuals who are experiencing homelessness
  • Integrated Crisis Response Team (previously known as Car 40): providing emergency care to individuals in crisis in partnership with mental health nurses and police
  •  New Indigenous Patient Navigator for Kamloops community: providing culturally relevant supports

The City of Kamloops works in collaboration with community partners and government agencies to support coordination of efforts and resources in supporting our most vulnerable community members. 

Background: The Kamloops Access Hub Leadership Committee was formed in September 2023 to create an expanded model of shelter services with additional supports built in that meets the evolving needs of unhoused individuals while addressing the concerns residents and business owners have expressed regarding shelter locations and services. Read the February 9, 2024, news release entitled Access Hub Leadership Committee Working Collectively to Support Unhoused Individuals.

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