Winter shelter space identified in West Kelowna

Cold Weather CTV

The City of West Kelowna and BC Housing have identified a site for a new temporary cold-weather shelter.

The proposed shelter at 1160 Stevens Road would provide 40 people experiencing homelessness with a warm place to sleep during winter.

A 2018 Point In Time Homeless count identified 72 people as experiencing homelessness in West Kelowna. Currently, there is no cold weather shelter in the city.

Given the urgent need for the shelter, BC Housing plans to submit a temporary use permit application to the city on Dec. 10. If approved, the shelter is anticipated to open between early January and end of March 2020.

Modular trailers will be brought to the site with space for bunks, showers, toilets and amenity space. Fencing, security cameras and outdoor lighting will also be installed.

The shelter would be operated by the West Kelowna Shelter Society, which would have at least two staff members on site around the clock.

BC Housing says safety of the neighbouring residents and community is a top priority. The Shelter Society is expected to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the neighbourhood, identifying guest expectations, rules and regulations, and addressing concerns.