Some homeless Kelowna campers begin the move into shelters - InfoNews

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Some homeless Kelowna campers begin the move into shelters

Today could be the beginning of the end of Kelowna's tent city on Recreation Avenue in the North End as beds open up in local shelters.
December 17, 2019 - 3:45 PM

By the end of the day, more than two dozen homeless residents at the Cornerstone and Gospel Mission shelters will have moved into the new Fuller Place bridge shelter in Kelowna, freeing up space for homeless campers to move inside.

Eleven Cornerstone residents were moved over yesterday but their beds in Cornerstone were not opened to other homeless people until today, Dec. 17, Dawn Himer, executive director of the John Howard Society which manages both facilities, told iNFOnews.ca.

Plans call for another 10 people to move from Cornerstone today and five from Gospel Mission.

“We are on schedule,” Himer said, noting it takes about an hour to process each person, even if they’re just moving over from one shelter to another. Their old bed and storage bins also have to be cleaned, so it all takes time to make the transition.

“People are settling in quietly,” she said

Outreach workers handed out notices at the Recreation Avenue tent encampment today, letting people know the beds were opening up. Seven campers were offered beds at Fuller House with a move-in date set for tomorrow.

Those moving into Fuller have been selected based on their suitability and interest in moving into their own rooms in the McIntosh supportive housing complex when it opens in Rutland next spring. But they are not required to accept that offer.

One of the Cornerstone residents declined to move, Himer said, so that bed went to someone else.

Some campers have complained about too many rules in the shelters and objected to having to be in by 9 p.m. Himer said Cornerstone and Fuller both have 11 p.m. lights out policies. Once settled in, the Fuller residents will be called together to discuss what rules they want in place there.

Since there’s limited storage space at Fuller, any campers with tents and bedding will be able to have them stored in the Cornerstone building.


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