An RCMP officer keeps an eye on residents as they pack up their items after spending the night at a new homeless camp set up near the Kelowna Curling Club. (Jen Zielinski - Kelowna Capital News)

Province plans to open shelter for West Kelowna homeless in 2020

The shelter would be located at 1160 Stevens Rd and would prioritize West Kelowna residents

Early next year West Kelowna may be able to offer more access to shelter for those in need.

On Friday, the City of West Kelowna and the province, through BC Housing, identified a site for a new temporary winter shelter which will help those experiencing homelessness.

The new shelter will be located at 1160 Stevens Rd. and operated by the West Kelowna Shelter Society (WKSS). It will provide 40 more people experiencing homelessness with a safe, warm place during the coldest months of the year.

The announcement comes after the City of Kelowna’s decided to move the Leon Avenue homeless camp to Kelowna’s north end, setting up camps at both Knox Mountain and on Recreation Avenue next to the Kelowna Curling Club.

READ MORE: Knox Mountain, north end Kelowna residents gather to petition city over homeless camp relocation

The relocation is a cause of concern for many residents who have even gone as far as protesting the relocation. The homeless are also unhappy because their new location forces them to pack up and leave the fenced-in site every morning.

On Saturday morning, residents of the Knox Mountain neighborhood and other residents of the north end met to discuss what action they should take to change the way homeless people are being handled and to petition against the city’s decision to relocate them.

Given the urgent need for shelter in West Kelowna, BC Housing intends to submit a temporary use permit application to the City of West Kelowna on Dec. 10. If approved, the shelter is anticipated to open between early January and end of March 2020.

The intake process would prioritize West Kelowna residents. According to the 2018 Point in Time Homeless Count, 72 people were identified as experiencing homelessness in the City of West Kelowna.

Modular trailers will also be brought to the site with space for bunks, showers, toilets and amenity space. In addition to the supports provided by WKSS staff, Interior Health would also provide health services based on individual needs.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s homeless unhappy with temporary overnight shelter situation

In addition to shelter spaces, the Province’s Building BC program is funding 4,700 new supportive housing units over 10 years for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness throughout the province.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: COVID-19 contact tracing app offers innovative approach

App designed to help monitor spread of pandemic in Canada

Dry Lake wildfire now classified as held

Wildfire was burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Okanagan set for thunderstorms before sunny weekend

Thunderstorms are predicted to give way to a hot, sunny weekend around Kelowna

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Water draws Okanagan artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Most Read