Kelowna’s homeless tent camp could be gone by next week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna’s homeless tent camp could be gone by next week

Eight of the people living in tents at the Receation Avenue campsite have been selected to move into Fuller House as early as next Monday.
December 09, 2019 - 3:00 PM

Next Monday is the expected opening date for the Fuller Place shelter, which is part of an effort to get 40 homeless people off the streets of Kelowna.

“We’re targeting for the 16th and feeling confident about it,” Dawn Himer, executive director of the John Howard Society of the Central Okanagan, which will operate the facility, told today, Dec. 9. “I don’t want to promise anything and get peoples' expectations up.”

Called bridge housing, it will allow people to relocate from three existing shelters, Cornerstone, Gospel Mission and the AG House women’s shelter. That will open up beds in those facilities for those currently forced to camp at the Recreation Avenue campground set up by the City of Kelowna.

But it’s not just for those already sheltered.

Eight of the people selected to move into Fuller Place are currently living in tents, Himer said.

The plan is for the 40 people to be housed at Fuller Place to move into the McIntosh supportive housing complex when it opens at the end of March.

Himer is looking for donations of toiletries - such as shampoos, conditioners, body washes - along with things like toilet paper and laundry pods as there will be laundry facilities.

And since the people moving from Cornerstone, which is also managed by the John Howard Society, will be supplied with toques, mitts, socks and gloves, she will need more of those to supply the people moving into Cornerstone.

Himer also needs two small desks for Fuller Place but, for health reasons, no bedding.

Donations can be dropped off at the John Howard Society office at 1440 St. Paul St.

Since it’s estimated there are at least 50 people sleeping in tents in the city, it’s not clear yet whether the Recreation Avenue camping area will still be needed, or for how long, after Monday.

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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