Kelowna Gospel Mission celebrates Courtyard facility

New facility offers outdoor location for people to congregate rather than using the sidewalk along Leon Avenue.

  • Sep. 14, 2016 8:00 p.m.

The Courtyard at the Kelowna Gospel Mission was officially opened today.

A space aimed at giving users of the Kelowna Gospel Mission an outdoor place to congregate that takes them off the sidewalk outside the Leon Avenue facility was officially opened today.

The Courtyard, located adjacent to the Mission’s emergency shelter at 265 Leon Ave., is a walled-in, open area with places sit and room for the homeless to keep their possessions with there.

It was built at a cost of $100,000 with the support of 20 community project sponsor partners. It is equipped with 12 storage lockers for carts filled with belongings of homeless people.

While it has been open for a few weeks and is being used, however, some days there are still large numbers of people outside on the sidewalk near the shelter’s front doors.

Billed as a safe and comfortable place to go, The Courtyard has made a huge difference in the lives of mission clients, said Gospel Mission executive director Randy Benson.

“The Courtyard is a beautiful haven beside our emergency shelter that provides not only safety for our guests but also the compassionate friendship of our dedicated volunteers and staff.”

He commended donors and community partners for stepping up to help support the construction project, the former site of the Mission’ thrift store.

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