The end is near for Penticton's controversial homeless shelter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The end is near for Penticton's controversial homeless shelter

FILE PHOTO - Victory Church in Penticton.

The emergency shelter at Victory Church in downtown Penticton will be closing this week to coincide with the opening of 40 new shelter units at the Compass Court.

The church has been operating as a shelter in the city for over a year but the original plan was to use it temporarily for the winter of 2020-2021.

“Based on conversations with B.C. Housing, Victory Church will be vacated and cleaned up by the end of the week,” director of development services Blake Laven said in a City of Penticton press release.

“With regard to Compass Court, there remains elements of landscaping and various site works still to be completed, but the units themselves can now be occupied.”

READ MORE: Costly legal battle with province over Penticton shelter does nothing to help homeless

Work will take place to improve the exterior of the property over the next few weeks. An increase in activity is expected around Compass Court so bylaw and RCMP officers will adjust their patrols accordingly, the city said.

“Today’s news of the opening of new shelter services at Compass Centre and the closing of the Victory shelter is the result of a great deal of work from many partners at all levels,” Mayor John Vassilaki said in the release.

“I would like to thank everyone who played a role in ensuring that some of our city’s most vulnerable population is safely housed.”

The shelter was a point of contention between the province and the city. The province overruled the city's decision to close the shelter after winter and then the city sued the province. The lawsuit was eventually dropped after a plan was announced to build the new rooms at Compass House

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