'Coldest Night of the Year' this Saturday in Kelowna

February is on track to be one of the coldest months on record in Kelowna. 

Existing shelters have been full - and so a temporary shelter was created in the old Kelowna foodbank building on Ellis Street.

Pastor Lawrence East, of Metro Community, says the project came together out of an urgent need.

"You know there were people literally walking the streets at night, and they wouldn't stop because if they did, they were afraid they would freeze to death," he says. 

East says they also have a drop-in centre next door that operates outside the shelter's 10-hours-a-day.   

"And when they wake up in the morning - they get a 7:00 am wake up call - they have about an hour to get their belongings together - and then they have literally a 50 yard walk down to our other building where we have our coffee shop and our drop-in centre. There they can get coffee, breakfast, access to counselling, help, computers - all sorts of things that they need to get equipped for their day," he says.   

This Saturday (Feb 23), the "Coldest Night of The Year" fundraiser will be held at Sandhill Winery in support of Metro Community. 

East says it's the largest event of its kind in Canada, raising awareness for homelessness from coast to coast in 52 different communities.