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People still sleeping outside in Kelowna despite bone-chilling temperatures

A warming shelter had to be opened Monday night
Tent in the snow along Rail Trail, Kelowna (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

As temperatures dipped below -20 C Monday night, Metro Community opened a warming shelter.

There were 15 mats made available and the centre will be open until the end of this week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Kelowna Gospel Mission outreach team is working each day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to ensure those experiencing homelessness have food proper clothing and cold weather supplies.

The outreach team will go to various locations around the city to let those living outdoors know about the extra shelters available.

Tuesday night (Dec. 28), outreach workers counted five tents pitched in various places around the city and as temperatures continued to drop the Gospel Mission had to open its doors about 9:30 p.m. to let several people inside to warm up.

On Dec. 24, several emergency shelter spaces were announced ahead of the cold snap that started Saturday.

BC Housing has collaborated with the Journey Home Society, the City of Kelowna and local shelter operators to add new spaces.

Both shelters at Richter and Doyle have added an additional 10 beds each. Cornerstone shelter at 425 Leon Avenue has been renovated and increased its capacity by 16 beds. The Kelowna Unitarians at 310 Bertram Street have converted their space to a 25-bed temporary shelter.

READ MORE: 1 person taken to hospital following West Kelowna house fire


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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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