Two emergency winter shelters opening in Kelowna as early as next week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Two emergency winter shelters opening in Kelowna as early as next week

Warming tents, like this one used last winter in Kelowna, may be a thing of the past as 79 new emergency winter shelter beds are opening in the city.
October 26, 2020 - 3:08 PM

There will be 79 more emergency winter shelter beds for the homeless in Kelowna this year.

The Welcome Inn at 1265 Ellis St. will reopen on Nov. 2 with 39 beds. It operated as a shelter last winter but did not open until January.

The nearby Metro Central at 1262 St. Paul Street is currently closed for staff training and changes so it can re-open as a drop-in centre and provide mats if there is a surge in the need for beds for those who are homeless.

The other shelter will be in the former Kelowna Daily Courier building at 550 Doyle Ave. A Journey Home news release did not provide an opening date.

That building is currently owned by UBCO and the Mission Group and destined to be a downtown campus for the university.

The shelter will be run by the Gospel Mission, which currently operates a shelter on Leon Avenue.

Along with four other shelters operating in the city, there will now be 217 beds available each night where residents will have access to daily meals, storage for their belongings, washrooms and amenity space.

Another 87 units of supportive housing is being added by early 2021.

“At any given time, the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community can ebb and flow, with more than 2,000 experiencing homelessness in the course of a year,” Stephanie Ball, Executive Director Central Okanagan Journey Home Society, said in the news release.

The plan is to have the shelters operating through to the end of March.

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