After issuing a public call for help late last month, Kelowna’s Inn from the Cold continues to be in a “dire” situation.
The homeless shelters current property on Sutherland Avenue is slated for redevelopment, meaning it must close its doors on September 30.
The emergency shelter houses more than 40 of the city’s homeless and warns the abrupt closure could worsen Kelowna’s much talked about homelessness situation
“Unless we find new space, however temporary, we will have to close our doors September 30 and at that moment, the population of homeless people living rough on Kelowna’s streets will jump by almost 25 percent,” reports the Inn’s Executive Director Jan Schulz.
At this point, The Inn says it's considering all options, including churches, halls, industrial units, buildings awaiting redevelopment, in an effort to house some of Kelowna’s most vulnerable.
According to Shultz, the city’s other two shelters are currently at or beyond capacity.
One of those other shelters, Leon Street’s Cornerstone Shelter, will be shutting its doors next March.
Two new supportive housing projects that will provide 88 beds to the homeless are scheduled to open this fall, however the new beds will not be ready in time for The Inn’s residents.
“Unfortunately, Kelowna’s Journey Home strategy, which includes permanent, purpose-built modular housing for people transitioning out of homelessness, won’t come soon enough, which is why we are desperate to find an alternative shelter location to bridge the gap” explained Schulz.
Anyone who thinks they can help Inn From the Cold find a new home is asked to contact Jan Shultz at email@example.com.