Spaces available for homeless during extreme weather alerts

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NORTH OKANAGAN - Vernon and Salmon Arm recently received funds from the province for extreme weather spaces for people whose health may be threatened by cold, wet weather.

Vernon will be able to provide 10 temporary spaces at the John Howard Society of the North Okanagan (Gateway House), 2800 33 St. beginning today through March 31, 2015, whenever the community issues a severe weather alert. Salmon Arm will offer 12 spaces at the Salvation Army (Lighthouse Inn from the Cold), 441 3 St., also until March 31, 2015. 

Each community decides if weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night. 

Another related program paid for by the B.C. government will connect homeless people with a range of services such as housing, health care and community support.

Across the province, $1.6 million will be invested toward 1,100 temporary emergency shelter spaces in more than 90 communities. The outreach program helped more than 6,700 people last year, with $4 billion paid since 2001 to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, 100,000 people are expected to receive help through provincial social housing programs and services.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.


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