Inn From the Cold given another short extension | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Inn From the Cold given another short extension

Inn From the Cold's emergency shelter is on the second floor of this building on Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna that's being gutted, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. The organization has been given another short extension to stay in its current location.
January 07, 2019 - 2:17 PM

KELOWNA - Inn From the Cold will stay open a little bit longer but they still expect some of their people will be without housing this winter.

The 35-bed emergency shelter, which can actually sleep 45 people, was expected to close tomorrow, Jan. 8, but has been given a couple of weeks extension while waiting for the Heath House supportive housing complex to open.

“B.C. Housing has been extremely helpful,” Kody Woodmass, events and promotions coordinator for Inn From the Cold told “They don’t want to close the shelter and leave people out on the street.”

The Sutherland Avenue shelter has faced closure for months and has received a number of extensions. The landlord is in the process of ripping out walls on the ground floor of the building that houses the shelter. That space was used by Inn From the Cold for storage in the past, Woodmass said, but all that material is now gone.

The shelter has been trying to scale back the number of people staying there but there were still more than 30 beds occupied recently, Woodmass said.

Eleven residents were able to get housing in the Hearthstone supportive housing complex and he expects a similar number may get housing at Heath House when it opens in the next couple of weeks, but that will still leave some people without a place to sleep at night.

“We’re still strongly looking for another location,” Woodmass said.

In the meantime, Inn From the Cold continues its in-home counselling. It also operates a free store in the old Food Bank building on Ellis Street from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays to provide clothing for the homeless who, regardless of whether the shelter is open or not, spend most of their time outside.

Find past stories on Inn From the Cold here.

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.

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