A man adjusts his toque in the rain outside of the Gospel Mission. The colder weather has arrived in Kelowna and homeless shelters are operating at full capacity. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

New winter shelters open in Okanagan

Kelowna - Winter shelters have been opened around B.C.

Vulnerable people experiencing homelessness will now have access to additional safe shelter spaces during the cold winter months and times of extreme weather in Okanagan communities.

With colder weather already hitting parts of the province, the Government of B.C. is partnering with local governments and non-profit organizations to provide more than 640 winter shelter spaces and more than 800 extreme weather response shelter spaces in more than 40 communities, according to the provincial government.

Emergency weather shelters will be located in Kelowna at 2600 Herbert Rd., Penticton at 1706 Main St. and Salmon Arm at 441 3rd St. Southwest.

“Everyone needs access to a safe and warm place to stay, especially during extreme weather conditions,” said Selina Robinson, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “The health and safety of people living on the street will always be a priority for our government and their well-being is especially concerning during the cold and wet winter months, when prolonged exposure to extreme conditions could be fatal.”

All regular winter shelter spaces will be open overnight every night, with many open 24/7, and providing meals and health services.

Extreme weather response shelters will be available when communities issue extreme weather alerts. Individual municipalities determine which weather conditions warrant an alert, and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on shelter capacity and the estimated need, according to the provincial government.

Both regular winter shelters and extreme weather response shelters will be in operation from Nov. 1 to March 31.

These spaces supplement the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout British Columbia.

The B.C. government also funds outreach teams that work throughout the province at shelters and on the street to help connect individuals experiencing homelessness with housing and support services, such as income assistance and mental-health services.

To see a map of permanent and temporary shelters in B.C., search online.

Just Posted

Penticton bellydancer makes impression on dance show judges

Celine Blais won’t know until the end of March if she made it on dance show, but signs look good

OneWorld: a multicultural celebration of diversity

Fifth annual event showcasing the cultural diversity of the South Okanagan

NHL official from Penticton celebrates milestone

Shane Heyer will officiate his 2,000th NHL game on Feb. 25

A taste of the Olympics

Nearly 300 students at Uplands Elementary School took part in their own Olympics

Okanagan Falls pot shop proposal causes concern

Concerns rising in rural areas about marijuana stores

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

B.C. Winter Games athletes work for gold in the last full day of competition

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read