Kelowna homeless shelter getting desperate in search for new space | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna homeless shelter getting desperate in search for new space

Inn from the Cold is losing its Sutherland Avenue shelter space and is searching for a new one.
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September 06, 2018 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - Inn From The Cold Kelowna is getting desperate in its search for a new shelter location and says possible landlords have changed their minds once they hear what they want.

The shelter needs to find a space by the end of the month or it risks putting its clients out on the street.

Executive director Jan Shulz said she understands the hesitancy of potential landlords but says the shelter has developed good neighbour protocols, recognizing the need to minimize impact on surrounding communities.

That includes security patrols who are charged with enforcing the good neighbour protocols amongst residents, a designated side or rear entrance to ensure the street is clear, daily cleaning and scheduled smoke breaks in a designated area.

Shulz says the society is desperate at this point but is still hoping for a one year lease on a 2,500 square foot or larger warehouse-type facility with one large open room in an industrial area away from downtown.

A small kitchen area would be nice and Shulz says the society will augment onsite washroom facilities.

Shulz has the support of Kelowna Chamber of Commerce which says it has mined its membership list for business people who might be able to help.

The shelter has less than 30 days left on its current shelter lease. The emergency shelter operates on funding from B.C. Housing and serves approximately 45 members at its Sutherland Avenue location.

Inn from the Cold and Cornerstone on Leon Avenue are both slated to close next year as recommendations from the Journey Home task force take effect and Kelowna’s street homeless begin to be offered supportive housing.

Cornerstone, run by John Howard Society of the Okanagan, has run into local opposition from business to its shelter on Leon Avenue.

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