Cornerstone emergency homeless shelter to stay open for two more months - InfoNews

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Cornerstone emergency homeless shelter to stay open for two more months

A woman stands outside the Cornerstone emergency shelter on Leon Avenue in Kelowna, March 7, 2018.
March 13, 2018 - 12:36 PM

KELOWNA - B.C. Housing has confirmed the Cornerstone emergency shelter in downtown Kelowna will remain open temporarily.

John Howard Society executive director Gaelene Askeland said the provincial housing authority confirmed with her on Friday, the 80-bed shelter will receive funding until the end of May.

News of the contract extension postpones the possibility of almost 80 people ending up back on Kelowna’s streets or in tenuous housing situations.

“It’s only to the end of May but two months is two months,” Askeland said. “We don’t want to put 80 people out in tents or back sleeping on street corners."

She gave credit to a months-long multi-agency effort both in opening the shelter at its Leon Avenue location at the end of November and keeping it open once the ongoing need became apparent.

Askeland says local business owners are in general agreement with the extension and have been kept in the loop during negotiations.

While nothing beyond May is guaranteed, Askeland said the group will continue to pursue a further extension of the contract although not likely in the former A&B Sound building where they are now housed.

Askeland also said the modular housing project proposed for Commerce Street in Kelowna is going ahead with John Howard Society as the contract operator.

Askeland said the supportive housing project dubbed Hearthstone has been scaled down to 46 units from the 55 initially proposed by B.C. Housing in January and should be submitted to Kelowna council in the next two weeks.

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