The lobby of the Island Hotel is now up and running as a temporary homeless shelter. (File photo)

The lobby of the Island Hotel is now up and running as a temporary homeless shelter. (File photo)

Island Hotel homeless shelter now up and running

As of May 23, there were five guests staying at the shelter

BC Housing and Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) opened a new temporary shelter with 10 beds for people experiencing homelessness at 440 1st Ave. in Ladysmith on May 11, 2021.

BC Housing and the LRCA were granted a temporary use permit to use the Island Hotel as a shelter space for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The existing shelter space at 631 1st Avenue only had five spaces and could not safely provide adequate shelter space with COVID-19 health protocols in place.

RELATED: BC Housing granted temporary use permit for homeless shelter at Island Hotel

The shelter is in the lobby of the Island Hotel, which was renovated in preparation for the shelter. Guests stay in individual sleeping pods which include a bed, storage, and walls on three sides to help meet physical distancing and COVID-19 safety guidelines. Upgrades were also made to the plumbing, flooring and ceiling of the building, and office space was built for LRCA staff who operate the shelter.

Additional safety protocols for residents and staff include mask-wearing in common areas and regular hand washing and sanitization. There will be daily cleaning of the indoor facilities, and adjacent public spaces including removing litter and drug paraphernalia if required.

The temporary shelter has staff on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests have access to support services such as daily meals, laundry, shower and hygiene facilities, and support accessing health and wellness services.

As of May 23, there were five guests staying at the shelter.