More spaces opening up for Central Okanagan homeless in advance of deep freeze | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More spaces opening up for Central Okanagan homeless in advance of deep freeze

January 10, 2020 - 5:00 PM

As many as 30 more emergency shelter spaces are expected to open over the next few days in advance of temperatures possibly dropping below – 20º C early next week.

The Welcome Inn, which opened as an emergency winter shelter in Kelowna last week with 20 beds, is expected to expand to 40 beds by the end of the week, according to an email from B.C. Housing.

“As of Jan. 7th, there were nine people still sleeping on the streets in Kelowna, down from the monthly averages of 43 in December and 86 in November,” the email said.

The opening of the West Kelowna emergency shelter on Stevens Road has been delayed. Two washroom trailers are on site and have been hooked up but two other trailers have not yet arrived.

Those trailers are oversize and have not been able to travel up the Coquihalla Highway because of the weather. They're expected to arrive next week and B.C. Housing is aiming to have the shelter open by the end of the month.

Ten temporary mat beds will be available at the West Kelowna Shelter Society's Brown Road facility tonight, Jan. 10, B.C. Housing said. They will be in place until the Stevens Road shelter opens.

Even with the shortage of beds and foul weather, B.C. Housing noted that the Kelowna Gospel Mission had four beds available Wednesday night.

Environment Canada forecasts temperatures dropping to -19º C overnight Monday and -24º C Tuesday night and Wednesday morning then staying below -10º C after that. Daytime highs during that time period will also be -10º C or colder.

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