A man sitting outside of his tent on Leon Avenue on Nov. 1, 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)

Work continues to develop emergency shelter plan for Kelowna

City hoping to build ‘over-arching, community-driven vision for the future of emergency shelters in our community’

Kelowna city council on Monday (Sept. 28) heard of the ongoing work to develop a plan for emergency shelters in the community.

The Journey Home Society’s 2019 Emergency Shelter Design Lab laid the foundation for the consultation work that will help build what the city calls an “over-arching, community-driven vision for the future of emergency shelters in our community.”

The city consulted several stakeholders and people with lived experience being homeless during the lab, whose feedback will be used to outline the city’s approach to emergency shelters moving forward.

“The outcomes of these discussions were instrumental in setting the context for the community discussion on the optimal way to deliver shelter services in our community,” said Sue Wheeler, the city’s social development manager.

Those learnings, combined with work underway to develop both a shelter location criteria framework and an advocacy paper focused on addressing the needs of individuals with complex health needs, will contribute to the broader conversation related to the possibility of building an overarching community emergency shelters plan.

Stephanie Ball, the executive director of the Journey Home Society, said they continue to advocate for supportive housing but they also realize several individuals with “complex needs” may not be well enough to make that move.

“People who may have severe mental health issues, brain injuries, substance dependence or other issues that require more intense support,” explained Ball.

Such individuals are often the most visible of vulnerable populations, Ball said, and they have historically fallen through the cracks in the system.

“That needs to change — for individuals at risk of experiencing homelessness and for those who are already within the system.”

The Journey Home Society plans to lead the next step of engagement, continuing to communicate with local shelter, housing, and outreach services operators, Interior Health, and BC Housing.

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the shelter system is not a barrier or pathway into chronic homelessness but instead, part of a continuum of care and gateway to supports and recovery,” said Ball.

“A resilient, effective and adaptable emergency shelter system within the homeless serving system continuum of care is vital to ensuring that the experience of homelessness is rare, brief when it does occur, and does not reoccur.”

READ MORE: City of Kelowna moving temporary shelter off Recreation Avenue

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelownahomeless housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

(RCMP)
RCMP searching for missing Kelowna man

Nathan David Copp was last seen this morning, Oct. 28

(Kerkhoff Construction)
Large Glenmore rental development given greenlight by Kelowna council

The development will contain 238 rental apartment units across four five-storey buildings

Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
UPDATE: Natural gas leak on KLO Road

KLO Road is down to one lane alternating traffic while emergency crews are on scene

Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party MLA-elect for Kelowna-Lake Country. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Liberal Party needs youth, urban presence: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect Norm Letnick

The Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect also said he will not vie for party leadership

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In May 2019, Brennan Joel Metlewsky and Jordan Robert Kupser were charged with attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an incident that took place in Vernon in 2017. (Facebook photo)
Attempted murder charges dropped for pair accused in Vernon stabbing

Brennan Metlewsky and Jordan Kupser will appear in Supreme Court to set a new trial date

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A boat moored at Turtle Bay Marina was reported stolen Oct. 1 and remains under investigation. (Contributed)
North Okanagan crimes remain unsolved

Boat stolen from marina, theft of siding and vehicle break and enter

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Most Read