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Outdoor overnight shelter site in Kelowna relocated

People who were staying at the overnight shelter location on Recreation Avenue will now have to move.
People who were staying at the overnight shelter location on Recreation Avenue will now have to move. Global News

Since last fall, some of Kelowna’s homeless population has been forced to shelter at a temporary site beside a baseball field on Recreation Avenue.

Now, the City of Kelowna has found a new temporary overnight shelter location at 890 Baillie Ave.

Temporary overnight sheltering is available between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m., and areas for shelter set-up will be clearly marked, according to the city.

Read more: Long-vacant McDonald’s restaurant in Kelowna to be levelled this fall, city says

“Our goal this winter is to try and ensure that we have enough indoor shelter space available so that no one has a need to shelter outside this winter,” said Darren Caul, the city’s community safety director.

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“The city continues to work with Journey Home, BC Housing and operators on emergency winter shelter spaces.”

Since 2017, 231 units of supportive housing have been added in Kelowna, including the most recent addition of Stephen Village.

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“Communities across B.C. and Canada are experiencing an ongoing homelessness crisis that is exacerbated by the uncertainty caused by COVID-19,” said Caul.

“While we are doing everything possible to ensure enough shelter space is available, solutions take time.”

The city has allocated the outdoor space for people experiencing homelessness as it is legally obligated to have designated space for overnight shelters if there’s not enough indoor shelter spaces within the city.

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