Responding to an urgent need in the community, the Government of B.C. is opening a new temporary shelter to ensure people experiencing homelessness have a warm, dry and safe place to stay throughout the winter season.
In partnership with the City of West Kelowna and the West Kelowna Shelter Society, the province is funding up to 40 new shelter spaces at First United Church, 3672 Brown Rd. The shelter will be open 24 hours, seven days a week. Shelter guests will have access to laundry, showers and opportunities to meet with representatives from health and other social service agencies, according to a government issued news release.
The new shelter is expected to open by Christmas and will help relieve pressure from four other provincially funded shelters in the Kelowna area running at or near capacity on a nightly basis. The four shelters include:
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission: 60 beds
NOW Canada’s shelter for women and children: 20 beds
Cornerstone co-ed shelter: 80 beds
Inn from the Cold: 35 beds
More temporary shelters and extreme weather shelters may be added throughout the season as needed and where appropriate. These temporary shelter spaces supplement the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout British Columbia, the release said.