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Where Kelowna's homeless can seek shelter in heat wave

Kelowna Gospel Mission
Image Credit: Google Street View
July 31, 2017 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - The Gospel Mission downtown Kelowna is preparing for a busy week, as soaring temperatures are forcing the homeless population to seek shelter. 

“The bottom line is when weather gets this hot we have to make sure people have a place to go indoors to cool off,” says Randy Benson, the executive director for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.

According to Benson, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission’s nighttime shelter is between 70 and 80 per cent capacity. With 100 beds at the shelter, this means there are currently between 20 and 30 free spots.

During the day however, the shelter is extremely busy, says Benson.

“Everyone just wants to get out of the heat, so we do our best to make that happen,” he says. “We make sure we have plenty of water to give, and our outreach worker takes a supply of hats, sunscreen and water and meets people outside.”

Temperatures in Kelowna are forecasted to reach 36 Celsius later this week. Those working outside are being cautioned to take it easy and be aware of signs of heat exhaustion.

“While everyone enjoys the wonderful Okanagan summer, being homeless is still a challenge - don’t forget the people in need,” says Benson.

To find out how you can volunteer with Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, or donate, click here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman 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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