Extreme weather alert triggers warming bus roll-out in Kelowna

The bus will be parked at the intersection of Richter Street and Weddell Place

Location of warming bus and shelter in Kelowna. (Journey Home Society/Photo)

An extreme weather alert has been issued for Kelowna and emergency warming locations have been opened across the city.

The City of Kelowna activated the cold weather protocols and warming bus when temperatures were forecast to fall below -10C overnight.

Kelowna is expected to see temperatures plummet below -20C overnight, before windchill, through the week until Dec. 22.

The freezing temperatures disproportionately impact those experiencing unsheltered homelessness by increasing the risk of frostbite and hypothermia, says the Kelowna Gospel Mission.

The City of Kelowna has announced several emergency warming options:

  • Richter Street and Weddell Place warming bus. The bus has a capacity of 24 people and can be found overnight Dec. 16 – 23
  • The Parkinson Rec Centre
  • Metro Central Drop-in Centre
  • Kelowna Downtown Library

READ MORE: City of Kelowna on board with ‘warming bus’ pilot program

The warming bus will be available from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until temperatures rise to above -10C. It will be operational through the winter during cold snaps.

A bus driver will be at the bus through the night in addition to the outdoor sheltering site’s regular security personnel.

“Thanks to the partners and volunteers who we’ve worked with to provide this emergency response to extremely cold weather, we have a safe, warm place for people who have nowhere else to go in this weather,” said Mayor Tom Dyas.

Front-line workers, City Bylaw Services, RCMP, and other community outreach agencies will be handing out blankets, sleeping bags, tents, socks, and hand/feet warmers while helping people find shelter beds.

The city has also purchased 27 insulated tents which will be available for use shortly.

The online dashboard with the Journey Home Society gives real-time updates on available shelter beds in Kelowna.

For more information visit the Kelowna Gospel Mission on Instagram or on their website kelownagospelmission.com .

READ MORE: Warming centres opened in Okanagan amid cold snap

READ MORE: Prominent Kelowna homeless advocate dies


@Rangers_mom
Jacqueline.Gelineau@kelownacapnews.com

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