B.C. Housing purchases permanent shelter location in Cranbrook

The Travelodge shelter, currently run by Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C., will close once the permanent shelter — located next to the non-profit — is operational.  (Corey Bullock/CBC News - image credit)
The Travelodge shelter, currently run by Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C., will close once the permanent shelter — located next to the non-profit — is operational. (Corey Bullock/CBC News - image credit)

B.C. Housing has announced the purchase of a permanent, year-round shelter site in Cranbrook, B.C.

The housing agency recently purchased the site at 209 16th Ave. North, next to Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C., a non-profit organization that will operate the shelter.

The building is a former fitness facility and will require renovations before it's operational, the province said in a release. Renovations are expected to be complete later this year, at which point the shelter will open with 40 beds.

"This shelter will bring people indoors and provide a warm bed, hot meals, showers, laundry and support services," said B.C. Housing.

"The shelter will be open to people experiencing homelessness in Cranbrook, including those accessing temporary shelter at the Cranbrook Travelodge at 1417 Cranbrook St. North."

The Travelodge shelter, currently run by Community Connections, will close once the permanent shelter is operational. People staying in the Travelodge will be able to transition to the new shelter location.

The Travelodge shelter has been in operation since April 2020.

"This purchase ensures vulnerable members of the Cranbrook community have access to safe and secure shelter spaces with supports, year-round," said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing.

The purchase comes two years after the City of Cranbrook approved zoning for the 16th Ave. site.

In December 2022, B.C. Housing presented to Cranbrook City Council saying they were looking for alternate locations.

At the time, Tyler Baker, director of regional development for B.C. Housing, stated that renovations to the site on 16th Ave. were projected to be too costly.

B.C. Housing did not state why they changed their minds about finding an alternative location.

In Cranbrook, there are now more than 200 people without permanent housing, according to Nancy Reid, executive director of Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C.