Kelowna's homeless population struggling to beat the heat - InfoNews

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Kelowna's homeless population struggling to beat the heat

Kelowna's Gospel Mission
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
August 08, 2019 - 4:00 PM

KELOWNA - Leon Avenue has become busier with street people, increasing the pressure on one local shelter attempting to meet their needs.

The Gospel Mission is currently running at capacity, with all beds filled night after night.

“This is usually the time of year when demand drops, but that’s not the case this year,” said Mike Morrison, the mission’s director of development.

From what he’s been told from the mission’s frontline workers, there’s change afoot.

Outside the mission’s doors, the street is busy with men and women who don’t call the shelter home once the sun goes down.

“I think there are just a lot more homeless people in Kelowna this year,” he said. “I think it’s a new trend.”

This week that trend is causing added pressure. As heat rises to 36 Celsius in the height of the day, frontline workers are attempting to meet the needs of the community by providing water, sunscreen and opening doors of the shelter for those who want to get out of the heat.

Mostly, he said, that's been done and there have been no incidents of people being felled by rising temperatures.

Morrison said that with costs going up in all areas, that’s creating more challenges and if the community can help it would be appreciated.

“Just support of the mission generally would help,” he said.

If you are in a position to help, go to the Kelowna's Gospel Mission website here to donate.

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