Designated outdoor sheltering site moves to Baillie Avenue
The designated outdoor sheltering site in Kelowna is being moved from Recreation Avenue to 890 Baillie Avenue.
Community Safety Director Darren Caul said this is not a solution and considerable work is underway to provide suitable sheltering space for those in need.
“But as long as we don’t have enough space for people in our community, the city has a legal obligation to designate public space for people to shelter outdoors. So we've worked with local operators, people who are involved in the social and health sectors to affect this transition,” said Caul.
The move was triggered by a promise that the overnight shelter site would not be immediately adjacent to a supportive housing site opening this November on Ellis Street.
Caul says additional emergency winter sheltering will be opening up at the end of October.
“So there is a significant increase in shelter space and supportive housing space in our community in the next five weeks. We therefore expect this overnight shelter space will be used mostly in the next four to five weeks and then our hope is that it's not even needed in five weeks.”
COVID-19 has forced a reduction in available shelter beds to allow for physical distancing and Caul said the City’s priority is to keep people off the streets through extreme winter weather.