Every day Kelowna’s Gospel Mission’s Outreach team provides meals, hot beverages and water to people experiencing homelessness in our city.
The outreach team loads up their van and heads out into our community three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
They cover all of Kelowna, from Rutland to the bridge, and will serve people in West Kelowna when needed.
However, that is just a small part of the services they offer.
They also provide warm clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags to people who are unsheltered and desperately trying to stay warm.
With every connection the team builds relationships, shares information about sheltering resources and housing options, and can even offer remote VATs (BC Housing’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool) to help people get their names on the housing list. The outreach team also partners with Outreach Urban Health nurses, who travel with the team a number of days a week to provide essential health services to people who are unable to access health care.
But 2022 has not been without its challenges. With inflation on the rise, we’ve seen a significant rise in the cost of groceries, gas, utilities and rent which has put ever increasing pressure on individuals and families in our community who are just trying to survive.
This pressure has resulted in a significant increase in the number of people we are serving on the streets in our community.
In 2021, the Outreach team served 30,605 meals from January to December.
This year’s stats show that they have served over 61,132 meals so far! This steep rise in people requiring assistance and support has put incredible pressure on the outreach team’s resources to provide compassionate care for our neighbours in need.
Which is why they are so thankful for the outpouring of compassion and generosity that they have experienced from people and businesses in our community this year.
People in our community have provided crucial financial support through monetary gifts, as well as hundreds of donated warm weather items to our outreach work.
They have given everything from winter jackets, to blankets, to sleeping bags, to gloves, to handwarmers, to wool socks; in order to help us make sure that everyone is our community is safe and warm this year.
The outreach team is so thankful for the community’s support so they can continue to serve and support people in need in our community.
If you would like to learn more about the work we do, or would like donate to support the work of our Outreach team, go to kelownagospelmission.ca.
We want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays and a blessed New Year!