Kelowna’s unhoused population is in desperate need of donations of winter clothing and resources, said Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.
“Temperatures have dropped and we are faced with an unprecedented number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” said the city’s Social Development Manager, Sue Wheeler.
In addition to the early snowfall and the increased number of people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna, the city’s shelters are also facing a staffing shortage which has limited the number of people that can be housed.
The Gospel Mission is asking for donations for winter clothes, such as sleeping bags, warm blankets, winter boots, hats, mittens, scarves and men’s jackets.
Cassie, a resident of Kelowna’s Tent City, said that they are in need of blankets and sleeping bags to stay warm.
“Providing for basic needs is one of the first steps to bringing people out of homelessness,” said Carmen Rempel, executive director at the Gospel Mission. “One of those basic needs is warmth and shelter, and that’s where donations come in.”
Wheeler said that the Gospel Mission thrift store has been emptied and all winter gear distributed, with help from City Bylaw Services, the RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department.
“It’s going to take the entire community to address the urgent needs, and we encourage community members to donate any warm clothing and blankets they have available,” said Wheeler.
Donations can be brought to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission thrift store at 125 Roxby Road. For more information visit www.kelownagospelmission.ca/donate or call (250) 763-3737.