Dozens still sleeping rough in Kelowna as emergency shelter mats get put away | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dozens still sleeping rough in Kelowna as emergency shelter mats get put away

The Stevens Road emergency shelter is helping ease the pressure for beds for the homeless this winter.
January 27, 2020 - 5:30 PM

Now that the bitterly cold weather has disappeared, at least for now, emergency shelter mats have been put away in Kelowna.

During the cold and snowy weather of recent weeks about 30 mats were set up at the Salvation Army and Cornerstone shelter in Kelowna to give overnight shelter to those who could not or would not use other shelter beds. Those have been put away until the weather turns bad again, if it does this winter.

“Forty people continue to shelter outside overnight in the city,” Darren Caul, the City’s community safety director told “That’s consistent with the number of people we saw sheltering indoors during the extreme weather last week.”

The Stevens Road emergency winter shelter opened in West Kelowna on Friday, Jan. 24. That first night they had mattresses but the bed frames didn’t arrive until Saturday.

“We had a really good weekend,” Kevin Hill, administrative operations manager for West Kelowna Shelter Society told “Everything went smoothly.”

There have been nine to 10 people staying there each night, B.C. Housing said in an email.

The society offered 10 mats at its Brown Road shelter. Those have now been removed. Hill said some of the residents at Stevens Road had been staying on the mats and some were new.

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