The Inn from the Cold—a local registered charity dedicated to addressing the issue of homelessness—took possession of 1829 Chandler St. on July 1.
This house is intended to serve as the office and free store site for Inn from the Cold, but also provide eight men experiencing chronic homelessness in Kelowna an option for permanent housing.
The IFTC’s mission is to respond to the needs of people who are experiencing, or are at risk of homelessness, in a welcoming, compassionate and mutually respectful manner. The organization says the Chandler Street Housing Project reflects this mission perfectly.
The project is based on the Housing First philosophy, which promotes the idea that providing housing is the first step to transitioning out of homelessness, not the last.
This approach uses principals such as a low-barrier (no “housing-readiness” requirements) solution to getting someone into housing with personalized care plans focused on holistic recovery rather than simply “sobriety.”
It aims to provide physical and mental support for these individuals in hopes of creating a healthier community in the long-term.
However, the IFTC has recently run into some unexpected setbacks in regard to the renovations of the new building, and in order to get the house up and running they need the community’s support.
To comply with the City of Kelowna building requirements and receive an occupancy permit, the IFTC is asking for monetary donations to finish the renovations and get the house opened as soon as possible.
Donations will go towards:
• Building renovations—materials (drywall, t-bar) and labour (installation of t-bar and drywall, electrical) in order to meet fire retardant codes
• Additional room furnishings which were not acquired through donations
• Operating costs during down time due to setbacks—rent, utilities, staff wages, etc.
With a push to finish the renovations, IFTC hopes to have a public open house in the first week of September.
Inn from the Cold has already received support for the project from Central Okanagan Foundation, Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise, Home Hardware, Home Depot and ESD Simulation Training.
The Chandler Street Housing project is looking to gain an on-going corporate sponsor in exchange for naming rights and advertising on the house which has Harvey Avenue frontage.
For more information, go to indiegogo.com/projects/chandler-street-housing-project/x/8431674; call 250-448-6403; or email Innfromthecoldkelowna.org.