Kelowna homeless shelter opens for the season

A place to shelter from the cold opens for the winter on Saturday, Nov. 15 in Kelowna.

On November 15, people living on the street can breathe a sigh of relief as the Inn from the Cold homeless shelter officially opens its doors for another season.

Inn from the Cold (IFTC) is a charity organization providing overnight shelter to people living on the streets during Kelowna’s coldest winter months.

“Every winter, Inn from the Cold opens to ensure that no one has to sleep outside. By providing additional shelter services in Kelowna, we are able to work together with our community partners to ensure no one falls between the cracks and is left out in the cold,” said Tara Tschritter, IFTC agency coordinator.

Inn from the Cold

IFTC is a minimal barrier shelter with 35 beds that serves the most vulnerable homeless members of our community. Men and women, transgendered, couples, pets, and individuals with various barriers are welcomed to a bed, after a vulnerability assessment is completed and priority sequence is determined.

“With the recent cold temperatures has come an increase in demand for our Free Store services,” said Val McCullough, IFTC volunteer Free Store manager. “Many individuals are accessing our free store to get blankets and warm clothing. Some have expressed that they are staying outside waiting for our shelter to open.”

As a volunteer-based, charity organization that relies on donations and fundraising efforts to cover operating expenses, IFTC is grateful to everyone who has donated their time, efforts, and monies.

“Inn from the Cold is only able to operate because of the support of a huge number of volunteers. Every year we fill hundreds of volunteer shifts in our shelter and we are so grateful to each and every person who helps us by giving us their time,” said Mark Dixon, IFTC board president.

IFTC volunteer application, donation, and intake information is available online at www.innfromthecoldkelowna.org or phone 250-448-5153. IFTC is located at 1157 Sutherland Ave. in Kelowna. Doors open from 7 p.m. to  8 a. m. daily.