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EDITORIAL – Kudos to the Powers That Be for quick recovery on shelter issue

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE POWERS THAT BE took it on a chin when the big storm came and a couple of homeless shelters that were supposed to open didn’t.

I call them “the Powers That Be” because ordinary people have given up trying to sort out whose job it is to fix the connected problems of homelessness, mental illnesses, addictions and street crime. They’ve become a faceless entity.

In the wake of the sudden change in weather and the failure of the shelters to open, the City’s Kitchen Sink Director Byron McCorkell demanded that the Province act quickly to fix the problem.

I call him Kitchen Sink Director because the former head of parks and recreation in the City — later the director of parks, recreation and cultural services —  has gradually had an increasing number of diverse responsibilities thrown at him over the years, and now bears the title of director of community and protective services.

Anyway, the problem with the shelters that was caused by the Canadian Mental Health Association backing away from a contract to manage them has been sorted out. First, the Loop stepped up by opening up its facility as an emergency shelter. Ask Wellness opened a couple of warming centres. Then, the City announced that “thanks to the incredible efforts of BC Housing and Out of the Cold,” the Stuart Wood shelter opened with limited hours.

And now, of course, the Yacht Club is open and working toward 24-hour service under an arrangement between BC Housing and the Mustard Seed. And McCorkell is able to talk about how the community always comes together.

“This is what makes Kamloops, Kamloops,” he said. “We look out for one another and we work together to make things happen.”

If we’re going to criticize the Powers That Be when they fail, we should be willing to give credit when they fix something.

So, yes, kudos to the Powers That Be on this one.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (9224 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Kudos to the Powers That Be for quick recovery on shelter issue

  1. Could you find out if our new Mayor played a part in seeing these things happen?

  2. Kudos to “solve” something that has recurred every year since last century?
    “We look out for one another and we work together to make things happen.”…that’s rhetoric at its finest.
    But kudos to you for your opinions and writings.

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