Kelowna shelter closing early this winter due to lack of funding

Inn From the Cold is shutting down its winter shelter, which has 35 beds, early this year due to lack of government funding. Submitted

It’s one of the main places in the Okanagan for the homeless to find shelter during the winter, but this year it’s shutting down early.

Inn From the Cold, which offers 35 beds at its location on Sutherland Avenue, will close its shelter on March 1. They say the decision, while painful, is necessary so they still have funds needed to run other year-round programs.

READ MORE: Cold weather beds open up for the homeless in Kelowna

“It’s apparent the Kelowna community has a need for housing,” said Mark Dixon, IFTC Chairman of the Board, in a statement. “So, with our limited funding dollars, our decision is to provide permanent housing year-round, reducing our short-term, temporary housing seasonally, as needed.”

They were unable to secure core government funding this year. However, Chandler House, which has beds for eight people experiencing chronic homelessness, will remain open. The organization will also continue to operate their Free Store, along with their outreach and prevention programs.

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“We have done everything possible to avoid closing the shelter, but, unfortunately, we were unable to secure the necessary funding,” said Tara Tschritter, IFTC Agency Coordinator. “I want to express my gratitude to our dedicated staff and volunteers who, from their tremendous effort, have made the shelter operate so well over the last several months.”

Inn from the Cold will help guests who have used the shelter this winter in finding new housing.

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