Nawican Friendship Centre opens warming shelter

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Due to the extreme cold settling in the region, the Nawican Friendship Centre’s warming centre has extended its hours.

The facility, at 1401 Avenue in Dawson Creek, will now run from 8 a.m. to midnight until December 26th to provide a safe, warm place for the city’s vulnerable population.

This was accomplished through an agreement with the City of Dawson Creek, supported by Emergency Management BC.

Jannah Kohlman-Easingwood, executive director of the Nawican Friendship Centre, explained that last year, the centre had received funding from NDIT to open an emergency shelter at the location due to the extreme cold.

“A location came up that was very close to the soup kitchen, and we were able to do the necessary renovations to get it open during that cold snap,” Kohlman-Easingwood said.

She said since January 2021, they’ve been running it as a shelter, as they also have ten beds for overnight stays.

“They get a shower, they get the laundry, they get food, and then they have a nice bed to sleep in as well,” Kohlman-Easingwood said.

“That’s first come, first serve, but anybody else that does show up, we do have the reception or common area… In that area, we’ve had an additional 10 to 20 people in.”

She added that the extended hours may go beyond the 26th, depending on the temperatures.

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