Sheldon Feener is a weather watcher.
It is part of the job for Salmon Arm’s new Salvation Army captain.
“My duty as head of the shelter is to pay attention to weather and it’s at my discretion to issue a cold-weather warning,” he says, noting he issued such a warning last Tuesday, one that was still in effect Friday.
When the area is under extreme weather conditions, BC Housing provides funding for 12 beds.
“The rest of the time, we are self-funded,” Feener said, noting there are separate dorms for men and women.
The Lighthouse Homeless Shelter can accommodate 16 people with food and a warm place to sleep.
“Right now we’ve been between eight and 11,” he says. “The shelter opened for the season Nov. 1 and we have not yet reached capacity.”
While the shelter located at 441 Third Ave. SW, just south of Safeway, can accommodate women, most of the residents are men in their mid to late 30s but range in age up to their 60s.
“Some of them are passing through town and some are local. They spend their days out in the different stores and malls and, at night, they come here to get a meal and a warm bed,” he says.
“Ages vary but we are not allowed to accept minors unless they are with a parent or guardian of the same sex.”
The shelter opens every night at 6:30. Anyone in need of overnight accommodation can show up at the shelter when it opens or call Feener at 250-832-9196 during the day.
The Salvation Army’s New Hope Community Church provides food through its community services at 191 Second Ave. SE.
Feener, who arrived in Salmon Arm with his family at the end of June, has extensive ministry experience in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
He brings his family services and addiction recovery experience to the local Salvation Army.