Church for street people finds permanent Kelowna home

Metro Community's facility was demolished to make room for 26-storey hotel on Queensway. Now it's found a new home on St. Paul.

  • Nov. 8, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Metro Community church has found a permanent home in downtown Kelowna.

After six months without a daytime home and centre, Metro Community has found a permanent home on St. Paul Street in downtown Kelowna.

Metro Community, a church consisting of people from all walks of life, known for its decade-long track record of advocacy and care for the most vulnerable and excluded in the valley, had been based out of a centre on the site of the proposed Westcorp hotel, at the corner of Water Street and Queensway. The previous centre was demolished to make way for the new development that was recently delayed another year.

Metro Community laundryThe church has been operating its week-day outreach and care services as creatively as possible in the meantime.

“It has been a difficult season for our team and especially for those we care for and serve among the vulnerable and street-connected community” said, Laurence East, lead pastor. “Its hard to describe what a critical resource this was for so many, and its loss had a profound impact on our streets.”

After the previous ‘Metro Central’ centre was demolished, a proliferation of the homeless on the streets downtown during the summer became the subject of media attention. The City of Kelowna was forced to hire four new bylaw officers, and public speculation followed.

“For the last six years, we have been a home during the day for many; providing meaningful activity, job opportunities, life skills, community, spiritual care as well as meeting a host of practical needs.” East said. “We look forward to building on that experience and being great neighbours, working in innovative ways to enhance and add to the richness our downtown.”

The new Metro Community daytime centre, located at 1262 St Paul St., is strategically located outside the so-called ‘red zone’ and the civic district, in a transitional area that includes, commercial, residential and industrial activity.

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