Fun fundraiser supports a serious homeless issue

The Push to End Homelessness raised $20,000 on Saturday to assist Inn from the Cold.

Justyna Warezak

Pushing shopping carts through the streets of Kelowna while donning goofy outfits, a number of area residents showed no shame in their effort to put a stop to a regional blight.

The fifth annual Push to End Homelessness was held Saturday with15 teams taking part. They managed to raise $20,000, besting the $14,000 total from the year before, all going to Inn from the Cold.

“It’s been great,” said one of the event coordinators, Eva Weston. “All of the dollars raised go toward operations.”

The shelter is unique in that it’s a low barrier operation, allowing couples and even pet owners to find refuge when their circumstances are difficult.

And for some of the participants, the work the shelter does was particularly close to their hearts.

A group of Kelowna General Hospital nurses dressed up as cat ladies were quick to commend the service provider and explain why they were up out a dank Saturday to help out.

“We see what a benefit Inn From the Cold is every night,” said Lori Ann Olsheskie.

“It’s a great resource and we need more beds in our community.”

Although there aren’t plans for expansion anytime yet, Inn From the Cold has grown a great deal in its short existence.

From the basement of church groups to a stand alone building on Sutherland, it’s done its part to alleviate the troubles of those living on Kelowna’s streets.

“We’re working to put ourselves out of business,” said Jan Schulz, executive director of Inn From the Cold.

“It’s not happening yet, though.”