A new homeless shelter in West Kelowna will open in the fall, BC Housing says.
The modular shelter at 2515 Bartley Rd., will provide up to 38 safe, secure, and private studio units for people currently living at the West Kelowna United Church shelter and others experiencing homelessness or at risk.
Each room will have individual air conditioning and heating units.
Turning Points Collaborative Society will operate the new shelter for up to three years under a temporary use permit. The society will have staff on-site around the clock and will provide guests with meal services, showers, laundry, storage facilities, security, and support accessing health and wellness services.
“This new shelter will replace the West Kelowna United Church temporary shelter, which was recently sold, said David Eby, B.C.’s Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, in a news release. “We are grateful to our project partners, including the municipality, in identifying a new shelter location and ensuring that people in need continue to receive support.”
City officials and BC Housing had been trying for more than a year, since the church was listed for sale, to find a suitable location for a replacement shelter.
The Bartley Road site has generated controversy because it’s surrounded by gravel pits. Advantages of the proposed site are said to include its relatively close proximity to bus routes, at 200 metres, and its distance from residential neighbourhoods. The closest homes are about 400 metres away, at the Crystal Springs trailer park.
“Since taking on the operations of the United Church shelter in May of this year, we recognize the immediate and urgent need for shelter in West Kelowna, said Randene Wejr, executive director of Turning Points Society. “We are eager to continue providing safe and secure shelter for those experiencing homelessness in the community, while always looking to provide a continuum of care along the various stages of homelessness.”
Turning Points also operates a temporary 38-bed shelter at the old Tree Brewing location in Kelowna, shelters in Vernon and addiction recovery facilities and programs.
The Province is providing $783,000 for the project through the Homelessness Action Plan and will provide an annual operating subsidy of up to $1.3 million. The City of West Kelowna provided the temporary use of land for the project.
Original Article: https://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/news/local_news/article_6bf8f110-e4e0-11eb-a585-874825c761cc.html