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60-bed shelter opens in Kelowna’s north end

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission’s new shelter for those experiencing homelessness is now open.

The Bay Avenue shelter, located at 858 Ellis St. in an old BC Tree Fruits building, has 60 beds and is meant as a replacement for the Gospel Mission’s now-closed 60-bed shelter on Doyle Avenue.

"These new shelter spaces will provide 60 people in Kelowna with a bed and supports to help them stay safe, warm and fed, while we continue to work with our partners to open permanent supportive housing across the city," said Murray Rankin, minister responsible for housing.

"These new homes will make a significant difference in people's lives. The whole community will benefit when those in need receive the supports they need to rebuild their lives."

Along with 60 individual sleeping pods, the shelter also has shared washrooms, storage spaces and other amenities.

People using the shelter will have access to daily hot meals, laundry services and security, as well as support accessing health and wellness services.

Staff will be on site around the clock.

<who>Photo Credit: Google Streetview

"This shelter is one piece of a large system of supports that various service providers work together to create in our city," said Carmen Rempel, executive director of the Gospel Mission.

"We are eager to bring 60 people off of the streets of our city and one step closer to being housed."

The Province invested $500,000 to renovate the old BC Tree Fruits building into a shelter and will provide just over $2 million in annual operation funding.

The shelter will be open until March 31, 2023.

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