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Cold weather shelter being prepared for Vernon homeless

A 2017 survey found 153 people call the streets of Vernon home.
A 2017 survey found 153 people call the streets of Vernon home. Shelby Thom/Global News

Vernon is preparing new temporary shelter beds ahead of two housing projects being completed in the North Okanagan city.

About 40 short-term beds will be available in November and they’ll be located next to the Gateway shelter at 2804 33rd St.

Called Compass, the project will provide around-the-clock support, as well as offer residents life-skills training, employment assistance and referrals to other community services.

It’s a collaboration between BC Housing and the City of Vernon and will be managed by Turning Points Collaborative, the same group that operates Gateway.

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“We are working very hard at getting it open as quickly as humanly possible,” spokesperson Kelly Fehr said.

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A survey done in October 2017 found 153 people called the streets of Vernon home.

The new beds are temporary while two other housing projects are being completed.

Construction is nearing completion for 46 new shelter beds at 23078 43rd St.

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In the spring of 2019, a new 52-unit permanent supportive housing project will open at 3500 27th Ave. and 2600 35th St.