Kelowna’s only ‘housing first program’ is closing its doors.
Inn from the Cold (IFTC) opened the congregate-site housing on Chandler Street back in 2014 — shared accommodation for eight individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness.
After almost four years in operation, funding to the program has been cut and the Chandler Street property can no longer renew its lease, which means it will be permanently shut down as of June.
Jan Schulz, Executive Director of IFTC says due to a loss of funding the non-profit is in a difficult position.
“We are committed to keeping our residents housed and our immediate goal is to find an alternative housing solution so no one is left out on the street.”
IFTC’s Chandler Street housing program follows the philosophy of the Housing First Approach, which promotes the idea that providing housing is the first step to transitioning out of homelessness, not the last.
“For three years we have been able to provide housing for people who were in great need and I’m touched by all the community support we have received,” said Schulz.
The annual funding of $66,000 to support Chandler House has been discontinued as of March 31, bringing an end to the program.
The search for an alternative permanent housing location will begin in the coming months. Also in need of a new operation location are the administration offices and the Chandler House Free Store which are located on the same property.
According to Schulz, during the month of June clean up and minor repairs will take place at the Chandler House before the keys are handed back to the landlord.
IFTC is currently operating at limited capacity. Offers to provide financial assistance can be made to the IFTC donation page.