Cornerstone homeless shelter in Kelowna to remain open for another year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Cornerstone homeless shelter in Kelowna to remain open for another year

A woman stands outside the Cornerstone emergency shelter on Leon Avenue in Kelowna, March 7, 2018.

KELOWNA - The Cornerstone emergency shelter in downtown Kelowna will remain open for another year, the provincial government announced today.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced the extension to the shelter contract with the John Howard Society of the Central Okanagan in a press release today, March 29.

Executive director Gaelene Askeland and the staff of the shelter had been actively lobbying for the extension, although some area businesses have said they would like to see the shelter moved from Leon Avenue.

The 80-bed shelter opened in November 2017 when it became apparent there were many more street homeless than available shelter beds.

Since then, the shelter has operated at capacity in the former A&B Sound building on Leon Avenue.

Funded only to the end of March, B.C. Housing announced last month the shelter contract with John Howard Society of the Central Okanagan would be extended to the end of April.

Cornerstone operates around-the-clock, with 45 paid staff, six for each eight-hour shift and includes a mix of nurses, first responders, students and former homeless people.

Unlike other shelters, Cornerstone allows couples to stay together, tolerates pets and has a place to park shopping carts.

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