Ksan Society converts Terrace emergency shelter to low-barrier

Ksan Society converts Terrace emergency shelter to low-barrier

The change does mean the loss of a clean space for people fighting to overcome addiction

Prompted by BC Housing, Ksan House Society has converted its Hall Street emergency shelter into one that’s now open to anyone.

Besides the Women’s Transition House, Ksan has two main shelters for the homeless or at-risk.

One is on Lakelse Ave. called Turning Points Housing Connections, and the other is on Hall St. at Ksan Residence and Shelter.

The Lakelse shelter is low barrier and accessible for people who are intoxicated or have been drinking, but the Hall St. shelter was previously set up only for people who were clean.

The idea was to provide a safe place for those wanting to overcome addictions and turn their lives around. People could find housing there and be surrounded with others in the same clean lifestyle.

But in April, BC Housing told Ksan to convert the shelter, known as high-barrier, into a low-barrier shelter open to everyone.

“In communities like Terrace, where there is only one year-round shelter in the area, BC Housing requires single shelters to be minimal barrier,” said BC Housing communications officer Susan Hancock in an email.

With the change, $125,195 was invested to create a separate sleeping room for people under the influence. Everyone shares meals in a common area.

The upgrade, not yet complete, also includes adding storage units, a pet shelter, and wheelchair ramps.