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Supportive housing killed plans to relocate shelter

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
November 30, 2018 - 3:00 PM

KELOWNA - Putting an emergency shelter in the same block as a supportive housing complex is the reason Inn From the Cold may have to close for good in its current location in January.

City of Kelowna risk manager Lance Kayfish confirmed today, Nov. 30, that a site had been found for the shelter but was vetoed by the city and B.C. Housing.

This followed on the heels of news release from Inn From the Cold executive director Jan Schulz earlier this week saying, in part: “Even when a willing landlord with suitable space was found, City of Kelowna and B.C. Housing fears about community backlash prevented the Inn from capitalizing on an opportunity to lease new space.”

Inn from the Cold has been trying to find a new location for months but has only managed to get its lease extended a number of times. The latest extension is to Jan. 7.

“With regard to the City and B.C. Housing ‘preventing the Inn from capitalizing on an opportunity to lease new space,’ that happened on a property that would have concentrated an emergency shelter and supportive housing in one block – something we are trying to avoid as we learn from the experience in our downtown core,” Kayfish wrote in an email.

No one is saying where the proposed site was located. There are six supportive housing complexes in Kelowna with another slated to open soon.

B.C. Housing didn't have much more to add.

“A potential shelter space was identified,” B.C. Housing senior communications specialist Tracy Wells wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, the location, building size and condition were inappropriate for shelter use.”

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