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Penticton meeting to discuss homeless shelter

A meeting to discuss shelter for the homeless takes place tonight at Sprott Shaw College, 2603 Skaha Lake Road.
November 27, 2014 - 3:04 PM

PENTICTON - There's a local group that wants to help the homeless find shelter in Penticton and they're inviting the public to discuss the matter with them tonight.

The meeting was organized by the Lighthouse Penticton Low Barrier Shelter Society, a group formed to respond to what they see as a growing homeless population.

Lighthouse Penticton President Marnie Verge said the society is looking at creating a low barrier shelter (meaning those using the service do not have to be clean and sober) for people living in the streets, as long as they are behaving civily.

"There are a lot of people in Penticton in need of this service, said Verge, "probably 30 on the street, and another 2-300 people who are 'couch surfing.'"

Verge said the organization hopes to create a shelter similar in function to Kelowna's Gospel Mission.

"What we are looking to provide is a warm place, out of the elements," she said, noting that the current emergency shelter in Penticton, operated by the Salvation Army and the South Okanagan Brain Injury Society and funded by B.C. Housing, only opens after temperatures drop below minus seven, or after 30 centimetres of snow falls.

The meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. at Sprott Shaw College, 2603 Skaha Lake Road.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call 250-488-3065. To contact the managing editor, email Marshall Jones at or call 250-718-2724.

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