Welcome Inn will offer 20 beds, but site coordinators Jason Siebenga and Tara Tschritter hope to offer up to 40. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

Winter shelters spaces opening in Kelowna

The move comes as winter conditions are setting in earlier this year

Two emergency winter shelters are opening up its doors in Kelowna, as cooler conditions set in earlier this year.

The Welcome Inn (1265 Ellis Street) will have 39 beds. The 24 hours, seven days a week shelter will open on Nov. 2, according to Journey Home. Before the shelter opens, Metro Central (1262 St. Paul Street) will continue to operate as a drop-in centre, where they have emergency mats for those who need shelter during extreme winter weather.

“The hygiene centre that was open to support those experiencing homelessness through the summer closed in order to train staff and set up the space for winter sheltering,” Amber Webster-Kotak, executive director of Metro Community said.

“We are pleased to be able to offer these vital services in our community this year.”

The Doyle Avenue Shelter (550 Doyle Avenue) will have approximately 40 beds and will be operated by Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.

UBC Okanagan and Mission Group previously occupied the space, which is the former office of The Daily Courier. When the Doyle Avenue Shelter will open has not been released yet.

“This region is stronger when we build capacity through partnerships and collaboration,” Lesley Cormack said, UBC’s deputy vice-chancellor and principal at the Okanagan campus.

“Our university is committed to these partnerships and working toward solutions to the challenges faced by members of our community.”

“We understand the urgent need for winter shelter in our community and the team at Mission Group is pleased to be part of the solution,” Randy Shier, CEO of Mission Group said.

Currently, there are four shelters in Kelowna. With the addition of these two winter shelters, there will be 217 beds available on a nightly basis through the winter. Through the province’s winter and extreme weather response programs, these shelters will be open until March 31, 2021.

READ: Kelowna outreach group hopes winter shelter comes soon

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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