The Fort St. John Salvation Army hopes to add 25 emergency beds for the winter.
The Fort St. John Fire Department along with the Salvation Army have been working towards a winter homeless shelter. The two organizations with the help from the City building department and the Office of the Fire Commissioner have decided they cannot allow a emergency shelter until a code assessment has been completed on the current building.
Fire Chief Fred Burrows says the Salvation Army has been asked to determine what the major occupancy of the building is. Currently the building houses a church, a kitchen facility and a sleeping area. With all of these types of facilities under one roof it is difficult to determine what area of the building code this building should now fall under, if a shelter is added.
Once that is completed, the City and the Fire Department can complete the appropriate permits that will allow safe operation of the facility.
The hope is still to have the facility up and running with 25 extra beds before the weather gets even colder.