Homeless man lying on the bench. (File photo)

Temporary emergency shelter opens in Central Okanagan

The shelter, located at the former location of Tree Brewing, will offer 38 beds

Those who are sleeping rough in Kelowna have a new temporary emergency shelter they can come to if they need it.

The shelter, located at 1038 Richter Street, the former location of Tree Brewing, will provide up to 38 beds and will be open 24/7. Guests will have access to meal services, showers, laundry, as well as access to social workers, and referrals to community services and harm reduction services. The shelter will open on Jan. 25.

The provincial government and Turning Points Collaborative Society partnered together to open the shelter.

“We know there’s an urgent need to provide additional shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness in the community, especially during COVID-19,” Attorney General and minister responsible for housing David Eby said.

“The pandemic has compounded the challenges faced by vulnerable people, so I’m very pleased to see Kelowna residents ensuring that people in need are supported.”

Turning Points Collaborative Society will operate the shelter until the pandemic risk to the vulnerable has passed.

Metro Community will operate the hygiene centre (1262 St. Paul Street), which is scheduled to open in early February. The hygiene centre will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be a permanent part of Metro Community’s drop-in program.

“This new temporary shelter gives those without a home another option to stay safe, warm and dry overnight,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said.

“The hygiene facilities are also badly needed at this time of year, and we’re thankful to B.C. Housing, Turning Points Collaborative Society and Metro Community for teaming up to offer this service.”

Currently, there are three year-round shelters and three temporary shelters in Kelowna. With this new shelter, there will be a total of about 265 beds available for the winter.

READ MORE: Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter