Kelowna is looking at introducing a $200,000 pop-up toilet project to serve citizens and tourists in the Queensway area. (City of Kelowna)

Kelowna pop-up toilet rings in at $200K

City council to consider 3-month pilot project for public washroom to serve Queensway

When nature calls, a new $200,000 washroom pilot project in Queensway could be the answer.

It could also be the answer to another call: breaking down stigma surrounding vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness and substance use.

On Monday, City of Kelowna councillors will look at funding the purchase, operations and management of the pop-up toilet.

READ MORE: Shop owner says City of Kelowna hurting small business

The semi-permanent, fully-functioning washroom, similar to projects in Winnipeg, would be added to the downtown area of Queensway for a three-month pilot project to serve all visitors of the area. The Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences (PEOPLE) staff will be onsite to supervise between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.

READ MORE: Pot shop in Lake Country to open in July

The PEOPLE program provides training and paid work opportunities for individuals with lived experience with homelessness and substance use. Those hired for the job will fill the roles of ambassadors and cleaning crews.

Journey Home’s executive director Gaelene Askeland said this addition would also be a great advancement in the five-year strategy to end homelessness.

“While we work that plan, there are still people outside, homeless in our community, without access to toilets and showers,” she said in her letter of support.

“Few, if any, of the businesses in the downtown core permit their washrooms to be used by our street entrenched population,” she wrote. “That leave people who sleep outside without any place to deal with their bodily functions or get cleaned up for the day.”

READ MORE: OGO e-scooters zooming into Kelowna streets

READ MORE: Metalheads converge in north Okanagan

The Lived Experience Circle on Homelessness advisory group told Journey Home this access to a basic human need would be much appreciated by all who would use it.

“With the increase of people downtown during the summer tourist season, it is worthwhile to make the washroom facility appealing, clean, funky and a safe, easy thing to access for citizens and tourists alike,” Askeland said.

Staffing the bathroom with graduates from the PEOPLE program, Askeland said, could be helpful to break down stigma as it would create opportunities for engagement with people with lived experience of homelessness and substance use or addictions.

“It is a courageous step, and one worth taking,” she said.


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC Wildfire Service to burn ten piles in Joe Rich

The service will begin the burning in late September and conclude by December of 2019

Motorcycle involved in multi-vehicle crash on Highway 97 in Kelowna

A man is being treated for injuries after he crashed his bike in an accident at Dilworth Drive intersection on Highway 97

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Kelowna marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Kelowna Chiefs win in epic overtime battle in emotional memorial night to late owner

The Chiefs hounoured Grant Sheridan with a win in the team’s home-opener

West Kelowna’s stuggles continue as Warriors drop game in Merritt

The Warriors gave up a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 Friday night

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Internet speed testing implemented in the CSRD

Test results will be tracked to find areas where improvement is needed.

Former South Okanagan resident found dead in Alberta

Candace Deleeuw was reported missing Sept. 16

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read