Residents rally to support those experiencing homelessness in Kelowna

Residents rally to support those experiencing homelessness in Kelowna

Supporters want the city to house the homeless before weather worsens

Several residents took to Kelowna City Hall to demostrate, once again.

This time, locals gathered to support those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Local broadcaster Lisa Redl spoke at the rally.

“We have to find a solution right now,” Redl said. “Regardless of what the city is doing, we have to figure out how to get these people warm right now.”

Last week the City of Kelowna relocated those camping on Leon Avenue to two parks at the north-end of downtown.

According to new rules set out by the city, those camped in the new locations are not allowed to stay the entire day and can only stay at the two sites between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m.

Several people who stayed at the new camp set up by the Kelowna Curling Club, said they now have no where to go during the day to keep warm, which is worse than staying on Leon Avenue where they could stay warm in their tents.

Redl stated that those camped at Recreation Avenue are demanding additional warming tents be brought to the area to give them a warm place to sleep.

“I get that there are regulations, but these are human beings too. These are somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter,” she said.

READ MORE: Kelowna homelessness count shows more people without shelter

READ MORE: Province plans to open shelter for West Kelowna homeless in 2020

Others attending the rally have experienced homelessness in the past and came to show their support.

“We were also homeless… and this is just inhumane. I was at the camp this morning handing out breakfast. Sometimes, it’s as easy as that,” one said.

Another mentioned how easily people can fall through the cracks and end up on the streets.

“You don’t pay your rent once and you get evicted quickly, and that’s what we’re seeing here. We’ve elected a mayor who ran on a pro-helping the homeless on a Journey Home strategy against someone who had a tough love approach. He won basically on that and we’re just not seeing action,” another resident said.

Resident Gail Hodgson said, the city should consider the issue as an emergency.

“The city has procedures for emergencies like when there’s forest fires – they open up buildings with cots, water, supplies. This is an emergency too,” Hodgson said.

“I’d like to see a building opened up to these people. They’re suffering already and I’ve had enough.”

She said she also understood how Knox Mountain neighbourhood residents would be unhappy with having those experiencing homelessness sheltering in a popular park.

“I feel sorry for them as well. If I lived there and that happened near me and I had kids, and what with some of the homeless folk having addiction and the potential dangers, I feel sorry for them too. It’s a terrible situation for everybody.”

But, she pointed out that if the city could put security measures for an outdoor camp, they can do that in an indoor setting too.

“What the city has done is put up that camp at Recreation (Avenue) and they’re manning it with security. Well, can they do that in a building?”

In all, Redl said the gathering at city hall wasn’t meant to be a protest, but a call out and a challenge for the city to act soon before weather conditions get worse.

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

READ MORE: Knox Mountain residents hold protest over homeless camp move


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Residents rally to support those experiencing homelessness in Kelowna

Just Posted

As they carry out a FireSmart assessment in Salmon Arm, firefighters Carmen Guidos and Steve St. Denis show one of the easy-to-rectify fire hazards that can exist for unsuspecting residents. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Column: Lessons on welcoming a wildfire into your home

The View From Here by Martha Wickett

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

A 30-unit park model complex is proposed for two adjacent lots located on the Sicamous Channel north of Martin Street. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Park model complex proposed for Sicamous channel properties

Twin Anchors’ Todd Kyllo said lots would be serviced, boat slips available

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Since late April, Shuswap residents may have been seeing an influx of white-crowned sparrows as they have been moving northward on their annual spring migration. (John Woods photo)
Sparrows stop by the Shuswap as they head north for spring

Bird watcher has seen about 100 per day during the peak of their visit

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Kelowna Law Courts. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Former Vernon teacher found guilty of historic sex crimes against minors

Anoop Singh Klair was found guilty of all eight charges against him in a Kelowna courtroom on Friday

The real estate market is hot in Vernon, and across the Okanagan. (John Dent photo)
North Okanagan home prices, demand continue to build

Single family home volumes up 200 per cent, worth average $647,000

An algal bloom on Wood Lake has residents concerned for the body of water's health. (Wendy Innes-Shaw)
‘Wood Lake looks seriously unwell’: Lake Country residents

Algal bloom appears to be getting worse, and stinky

A wildfire southeast of Vernon has been added to the BC Wildfire dashboard Friday, May 14, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire sparks southeast of Vernon

The fire appears to be in a remote area east of Aberdeen Lake

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Enderby’s Small Axe Roadhouse was the subject of nasty backlash after installing two busty beer towers. (Facebook)
Enderby bar’s busty beer taps to stay put despite backlash

‘Many folks have mansplained to us that we are sexist, misogynistic…’

Most Read