Kelowna’s Inn from the Cold has opened it’s doors in hopes of sheltering people before the winter officially hits.
The seasonal shelter has been open for 17 years for people experiencing homelessness.
They decided to get going for the year on Nov. 1 with an unusually cold winter expected.
“Many of our residents struggle to find a place to sleep at night,” executive director Jan Schulz said. “During the warmer months, the need for an indoor shelter isn’t as pressing. However, once the temperature drops, it becomes much more challenging and our goal is to ensure the homeless members of our community have a safe and comfortable place to spend the night.”
According to the 2017 Farmers Almanac, colder than normal temperatures and more than average participation is on its way. This combination makes it extra difficult for people sleeping outside.
“There is a huge need for shelter during the cold months and every bed we can provide goes a long way to supporting some of the most valuable members of our community,” Schultz said.
Inn From the Cold has a total of 35 beds for men and women, transgender individuals, couples, pets and more. Once people check in, they go through a vulnerability assessment.
The volunteer-based organization relies on donations and fundraisers, as well as people donating their time.
“The support we receive from our volunteers and from donors is really what keeps the doors to our shelter open,” said board president Mark Dixon. “We operate from the five coldest months of the year and during that time we rely on hundreds of volunteer shifts to ensure our community’s homeless have a warm place to sleep.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the support we receive from all of those individuals who give times and resources.”
Inn From the Cold is located at 1157 Sutherland Ave. and doors are open from 7 p.m. To 8 p.m. daily.