Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is closing its day services, starting on March 17.
The decision was made in the midst of mounting COVID-19 concerns. Executive director Randy Benson said staff and volunteers are doing the best they can to help the city’s vulnerable.
“Starting March 17, our day services will be closed. We’ll only be open during the lunch hour and the supper hour for non-registered guests,” he said.
“Then starting on March 18, we’ll only have essential services, which is shelter and food for guests that are registered with us. Then for our non-registered guests, we will do takeaway. We’ll prepare the food and then the Salvation Army will deliver and distribute the food.”
“We’re just really minimizing the number of people gathering at the Mission.”
The dining hall at the Gospel Mission will also be rearranged so tables have more distance between them and fewer chairs, giving diners more space at each table. He said staff set up a handwashing station in the hall as well and have been monitoring the people for symptoms before they come in.
In terms of the 76-bed shelter, Benson said there are no changes there so far.
“It is what it is, with all the beds in one building. We’ve changed the spacing and cleaning of the area, but we’re monitoring for symptoms. We’re following the recommendations from the province and Interior Health,” he said.
“We’ll try to isolate them as best we can, but we don’t have a lot of facility for that. If that occurred, we’ll be in touch with Interior Health to get some direction from them.”