West Kelowna Shelter Society opens new 40-bed temporary facility

Forty new beds are now available for people experiencing homelessness in West Kelowna.

The new temporary shelter is operated by the West Kelowna Shelter Society. 

Trailers have been brought in with space for bunks, showers, toilets and other amenities.

The province, through BC Housing, worked closely with the City of West Kelowna to identify the site to address the urgent need for more shelter spaces.

Although many West Kelowna residents were not aware of the new facility, they say it is a welcome addition to the city.

“I think it’s necessary, people need a place to go and stay warm,” said Gerald Ryan, a West Kelowna resident, “especially with the cold snap we just had.” 

“They gotta have something. I mean, to have them all together under one roof is pretty important for them,” said Les Rae, another resident.

“I think there is a real need for a temporary shelter,” added Heather Toner, who also lives in the city. 

“There just seems to be a lot of people out on the streets.”

The province says it recognizes shelters are not a long-term solution and is funding 4,700 new supportive housing units in British Columbia. 

BC Housing says the temporary shelter is expected to close by the end of March.

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