Residents experiencing homelessness have set up camp on a baseball diamond on Recreation Ave in the city’s west end. (Jen Zielinski - Kelowna Capital News)

Kelowna Curling Club will not be used as a shelter space — for now

BC Housing said there is currently no need to activate such a facility

BC Housing said there is no need to open up the Kelowna Curling Club to the city’s homeless population just yet, despite the ongoing use of the city-sanctioned camp right in the club’s backyard.

When the provincial housing authority announced on April 25 it secured 120 beds in Kelowna to allow people experiencing homelessness to safely isolate indoors amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, 40 were earmarked for the curling club.

“The Kelowna Curling Club was identified as a facility to support the vulnerable population in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak,” said spokesperson Samantha Cacnio. “At this time, there is no need to activate such a facility.”

While spaces at the curling club have not opened, the other 80 in Kelowna have — though the three locations they span have not been made public. In addition to those spaces, 15 will also remain available at a temporary winter shelter that BC Housing has allowed to stay open until June. BC Housing has also opened up a 24/7 staffed hygiene shelter at 1265 Ellis St. for people experiencing homelessness to shower, have a proper washroom and have access to laundry facilities.

“BC Housing and its partners are continuing to look at a number of ways to bring people inside and options continue to evolve along with the needs of the community,” said Cacnio. “BC Housing will provide more information if and when additional indoor sheltering sites are made available.”

Twenty spaces have also been secured in West Kelowna for women and children who may have experienced violence at home.

In Vancouver and Victoria, a ministerial order issued the closure of large encampments in both Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park and Victoria’s Topaz Park. The hundreds of people currently residing at those encampments will be offered temporary accommodations in hotels and community centres.

“Providing safe, temporary accommodations and wraparound services for people facing homelessness have been an urgent priority for this government for a long time,” said Shane Simpson B.C.’s Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Now, more than ever, with the concurrent emergencies of the pandemic and the ongoing opioid crisis, it is time to implement long-term housing solutions that take care of and protect our most vulnerable people.”

That order does not apply outside of those two parks.

READ MORE: Residents experiencing homelessness back outdoors as temporary winter shelters close

READ MORE: Government response to people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Township of Spallumcheen opens office to public again

Protocols in place but you can do business in office if you so choose

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse cancels box season

COVID-19 wipes out indoor lacrosse; group hopeful outdoor field season will start in August

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Water quality advisory rescinded for Killiney Beach customers

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued May 11

UPDATED: Two sent to hospital by air ambulance following Enderby highway accident

Drivers involved in collision on Highway 97A in Enderby; serious, but not life-threatening injuries

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Summerland once had Old English theme

Design guidelines were introduced in late 1980s

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read