The Salvation Army’s Roger Evans in one of the units of the recently opened Compass Court shelter located at the former Super 8 Motel located in the 1700-block of Main Street. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton’s winter shelter prepared for influx tonight

Manager Roger Evans said he does expect to see more use of the shelter with snow blanketing the city

As snow piles up in Penticton, an organizer at the local winter weather shelter says he is confident the shelter will be able to take any influx in shelter seekers.

In all, the city is expected to get somewhere between 15 and 25 centimetres of snow between Monday evening and Wednesday morning, prompting a weather warning from Environment Canada.

Related: Okanagan-Shuswap to be hit with heavy snowfall

Compass House and Compass Court manager Roger Evans said he does expect to see at least a few more people at the winter shelter at the former Super 8 motel Tuesday evening.

“It might (test our resources) tonight. Yeah, we might get quite busy tonight,” Evans said.

But asked if there were any extra preparations needed for the night, Evans said he is confident the shelter is prepared for any surge in usage.

Related: Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Last month, Evans said while Compass House was full every night, Compass Court’s winter shelter had been housing around 20 people per night, with a total of 27 beds at the shelter. But he said he’s starting to see more people at the shelter lately.

“It’s getting well, well used over there. It’s pretty close to capacity,” Evans said. “I would say it’s an average of 24, I think.”

But even if the winter shelter does fill up at Compass Court, Evans said the Salvation Army, which runs the shelters, has a backup plan.

“If we fill up there, we’ll just backflow to Compass House,” Evans said. “Compass House is full, yes, but we have room for seven more beds.”

Related: Shelter beds more than double in Penticton, but more people in need

Though he hasn’t seen much of it this year, Evans said sometimes people do just stop by to warm up for a bit before heading back out, or stop in for a meal and leave.

But Evans said he doesn’t expect to be seeing many people head back out into the snow Tuesday night.


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