Turning Points Collaborative Society extends temporary winter shelter contract for three months as of March 25, 2020, but the facility is temporarily closed due to staff shortages. (Turning Points Society photo)

COVID-19 extends Vernon temporary shelter 3 months

Temporary winter homeless shelter can operate for three more months, but Turning Points struggles to staff it

Vernon’s temporary winter shelter will remain open for another three months, but it’s currently closed as Turning Points Collaborative Society can’t keep it fully staffed.

Turning Points has worked with BC Housing, Interior Health and the City of Vernon among other community partners to ensure the temporary shelter contract could be extended until June. It was slated to close at the end of March.

“We are having difficulty keeping this fully staffed so, it is temporarily closed until such time that we have sufficient staff,” executive director Randene Wejr said.

Staff involved in the temporary winter shelter have been deployed to other sites to assist with ramped-up sanitizations, cleaning and prevention protocols and once Turning Points is able to recruit qualified staff to cover all shifts the shelter will once again be re-opened.

In Turning Points’ other facilities, guidelines issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control and the provincial health officer are being followed. This includes travel restrictions, hand-washing protocols, social distancing and working from home where possible.

Portable hand-washing stations have been set up at shelters and housing sites, Wejr said in a statement.

Currently, facilities are not at capacity and staff continues to work at providing the space to social distance within Turning Points’ programs.

Turning Points’ staff are advised to minimize contact with others while away from work and masks are utilized to prevent the spread of outside contact to clients when possible.

“The health, safety and well-being of our staff, clients and the community has to take the highest priority,” Wejr said.

Turning Points closed its administration office March 13 and drop-in clients are no longer accepted at this time.

Clients who need to connect or make an appointment can still do so.

To contact the Homeless Prevention Program co-ordinator, Eric Denison

Call (250) 542-3555 ext 211 or email eric.denison@turningpoints.ngo

To contact the Homeless Outreach Program coordinator, Kelly Denis

Call (250) 542-3555 ext 210 or email kelly.denis2@turningpoints.ngo

To contact WorkBC case manager contact, Rachelle Tessier

Call (250) 542-3555 ext 204 or email rachelle.tessier@turningpoints.ngo

To contact WorkBC case manager contact, Malmie Gunawardena

Call (250) 542-3555 ext 208 or email malmie.gunawardena@turningpoints.ngo

The society has been providing services to Vernon’s marginalized populations since 1957.

“The importance of this essential role in operating housing, addiction and employment services is demonstrated once again during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus closes office doors at Vernon homeless outreach program

READ MORE: Increased coronavirus cases spark B.C.-wide burning restrictions


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

READ MORE: Coronavirus closes office doors at Vernon homeless outreach program

READ MORE: Increased coronavirus cases spark B.C.-wide burning restrictions


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks welcome assistant coach

Seasoned forward Derek Damon to join team behind the bench

VIDEO: Wildfire erupts north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Observers suspect fireworks sparked blaze, Wildfire BC states cause still unknown

Rapattack crew responds to small wildfire east of Salmon Arm, Sicamous

Three-person rappel crew dispatched to Joss Mountain

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Princeton man faces charges after allegedly receiving ‘drunk driving’ lesson

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Kelowna house and hip hop artist grows in popularity with new single

Edge’s ‘Vice City Vibes’ is available on all streaming platforms now

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Police watchdog investigates Kamloops RCMP after stabbing death

The IIO is investigating the police’s lack of success in locating the man charged in stabbing

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Most Read