City of Kelowna wants to cut down on donations to its homeless campers

People are being asked not to donate directly to Kelowna's homeless campsite.

About 350 kilograms of food and other material are thrown out each day from the City of Kelowna sanctioned homeless campground on Recreation Avenue.

While a video posted yesterday, Dec. 6, shows one of the campers objecting to tools and bedding being tossed in the garbage, the City, in a news release, says some of that is coming from unneeded donations.

“It is amazing to see this outpouring of compassion from the community,” Darren Caul, the City’s director of community safety, said in the release. “However, approximately 350 kilograms of abandoned materials and food are collected and removed from the Recreation Avenue site daily. Directing donations to the appropriate non-profit agencies will ensure that less is thrown out and benefit more people while ensuring Recreation Avenue is used for its intended purpose of overnight sheltering only.”

The Central Okanagan Food Bank’s Un-Sheltered Program is providing an appropriate amount of food to the site so any donations for the campers should be directed to the food bank. Other non-profit organizations are also providing food to the campers and people living outside.

“The Recreation Avenue site is intended to only permit temporary overnight sheltering and is not intended to be the site of an ongoing, continuously occupied homeless encampment,” the City states in the release. “The lesson learned from the experience of other local governments in British Columbia with ongoing homeless encampments is that they quickly escalate in size and complexity and create hazards and dangers that impact people experiencing homelessness as well as the surrounding community. Delivering large volumes of donated materials to the site is incompatible with the limited use of the site for temporary overnight sheltering.

Interior Health staff are visiting the site daily, offering mental health and substance abuse services and a number of other agencies are involved, the City says.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 


David Suzuki
SUZUKI: Pandemic and climate crises unmask inequalities
  OPINION A chorus of world leaders has declared we’re all in the same COVID-19 boat. In response, U.K. writer Damian Barr tweeted , “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Som
One hundred per cent full blood certified Wagyu beef is raised on Wilco Onderdelinden's ranch in Princeton, B.C.
This Princeton-grown beef is some of the rarest, most-prized in the world
There’s a cattle ranch in Princeton that’s producing some of the tastiest beef you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Wilco Onderdelinden owns and operates the Subtilia Ranch on Baker Hill Road in Princeton where he raises

Top News