November 29, 2015 - 3:39 PM
KELOWNA - In good timing with our colder weather, the Inn from the Cold announces their annual Christmas campaign. The Inn from the Cold is a charity organization providing overnight shelter to people living on the streets during Kelowna’s coldest months. The campaign opens just as Kelowna saw its first snowfall last night.
Colin Basran, Mayor of Kelowna, weighed in with his opinion. “A warm bed to sleep in every night is something most of us take for granted. It may seem insignificant, but without it, our lives would be very different.
It gives us the security and the strength to begin each day, open to endless possibilities. Everyone deserves the chance to feel this way when they wake up in the morning. I hope that we as a society will continue to work together to provide those who need it, with a warm bed and a world of opportunity.”
“Every winter, Inn from the Cold Kelowna opens to ensure that no one has to sleep outside,” said Jan Schulz, Executive Director. “Our mandate is to provide low-barrier, overnight shelter to the most vulnerable members of our community experiencing homelessness to ensure no one falls between the cracks or is left out in the cold.”
IFTC has 35 beds and is available to men and women, transgendered, couples, individuals with barriers – and even pets. Volunteers from the community are utilized to keep the operating costs low and do everything from prepare meals, set up the shelter, and provide companionship to the shelter guests. The shelter is completely dependent on volunteers, fundraising, and donations to cover all operating expenses.
“What does a warm bed mean to me? It means I am comfortable, clean, and that I have a place of my own to feel safe. I feel accepted, like a person, and I feel peace. When I wake up in the morning, I wake up knowing I am warm, safe and that we in the shelter are trying to care for one another.” – Shelter guest Jesse.
The absence of a warm bed is another way for Kelowna’s residents to look at this urgent situation.
“It means...spending the long winter night shivering. If you find somewhere, dry and out of the wind, it’s only a matter of time before someone wakes you up and asks you to move along – but if you don’t have a warm bed, where are you going to go? You spend the night wandering the streets, always looking over your shoulder, trying to stay awake, alert and alive.” – Shelter guest Rodney.
Apart from shelter for urgent needs, many may not be aware that IFTC also operates other important services and programs including a permanent home for previously homeless men and essential outreach services.
This season, please consider what a warm bed means to you and donate to help us share the gift of a warm bed this holiday season.
Visit our website to make a donation or call 250-448-6403.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015