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Task force created to move low barrier shelter initiative forward in Penticton

Lighthouse Penticton Low Barrier Shelter Initiative's Marnie Verge chairs a meeting of Penticton residents interested in establishing a homeless shelter in the city last Tuesday, Feb. 9.
February 11, 2016 - 2:30 PM

PENTICTON - Penticton’s low-barrier housing initiative continued to forward this week with the establishment of a task force to guide the group.

The task force will directly tackle issues associated with establishment of a low-barrier facility in the city. It is believed a smaller 'action committee' will be more effective in moving the group’s direction forward. The eight member group will now hold meetings of its own, and report back to the larger group on a regular basis.

Approximately 20 people gathered in the Soupateria Hall on Feb. 9 to discuss a homeless shelter, which has been gaining traction in Penticton since Mike Forster’s Keep the Cold off Penticton voice joined those of a number of other similar homeless advocate groups in the city last year.

Discussion centred around the large amount of misinformation in the community regarding current resources available to the homeless. A recent census conducted by members of Tuesday’s group puts the number of 'absolute homeless' at more than 30, with eight of those under the age of 30.

Penticton City Coun. Judy Sentes, who was present at the meeting, noted the task force won’t have to start from scratch and will be able to research what other communities have done to deal with the issue.

“The barriers to homelessness are the same, no matter where they are,” she said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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