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Kitimat converts old council chambers into homeless shelter with pet-friendly sections

Will also have section for people with allergies

Kitimat in winter (photo via District of Kitimat)

After plans for using trailers to create temporary homeless shelters fell through, the community of Kitimat decided to convert its old council chambers to a temporary housing project for the winter.

"We have a minus nineteen windchill," says Mayor Joanne Monaghan. "I certainly wouldn't want to be out in the weather in this kind of windchill."

Listen to the full interview with Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan
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Monaghan is using her past experience working with homeless to inform how the building is set up. "Many of the homeless have dogs, and they don't like to leave their puppy dogs outside. So we have the head of the animal shelter here... who said that she would give them flea baths and put flea collars on them." There is a separate section for people who don't want to be around dogs, as well as a third section for women.

Monaghan says part of the homeless problem is the result of people heading to the northwest looking for work. "There are jobs, but they have to have number one, a high school education. Number two, they have to have a trade, and number three they should belong to a union. If they don't have those three aspects, they probably won't get a job."

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