Westside’s homeless will have place to go
Province funds temporary winter shelter with region’s existing facilities near or over capacity
As the coldest weather so far this fall hit the Okanagan, the provincial government revealed Friday a new temporary shelter for the homeless will open in West Kelowna.
The 40-bed shelter will open sometime before Christmas in First United Church at 3672 Brown Rd. and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The province is funding the winter shelter in partnership with the City of West Kelowna and the West Kelowna Shelter Society.
In addition to providing a warm, dry and safe place to sleep during the winter, the shelter will also have access to laundry facilities, showers and opportunities for the homeless to meet with representatives from health care and other social service agencies to get additional help.
The province was prompted to add the temporary shelter in West Kelowna because the four existing, provincially funded shelters in the Central Okanagan are near capacity or over capacity.
Those four are the 60-bed Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, Now Canada’s shelter for women and children, with 20 beds, the 80bed Cornerstone shelter in downtown Kelowna and Inn From the Cold on Sutherland Avenue, with 35 beds.
More temporary shelters and extremeweather shelters may be added throughout the season if needed, according to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing news release.