Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick said the proposed supportive housing project on McCurdy Road should be ‘paused’ until further notice. (Artist rendering)

Kelowna’s homeless population doesn’t have much hope of finding a bed at a shelter

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society says 300 people waitlisted for supportive housing

Shelters are at full capacity in Kelowna and over 300 people are on a waitlist for supportive housing, says Central Okanagan Journey Home Society.

“We know that our shelters are full and turn people away regularly. That is about 200 shelter spaces full, plus those still living outside,” executive director Gaelene Askeland said.

READ MORE: Kelowna Mayor’s walking tour of Rutland cancelled

There are at least three more new supportive housing buildings underway that will house about 150 people, but Askeland says that’s not enough.

“More needs to be done.”

Askeland says she expects more will be on the way in upcoming years.

“The Journey Home Strategy set the need at 300 units needed, and BC Housing will have met that by the end of next year,” Askeland said.

She said after Kelowna’s Inn from the Cold’s shelter closed in January it was a struggle to find housing for the people who resided in the facility.

READ MORE: A four-storey supportive housing development on Agassiz Road was approved by council

“There was a concerted effort at the time to move as many of those folks into Heath House, a supportive-housing building on the highway by McCurdy, as well as into the other shelters,” Askeland said.

She says a strategy is in place to improve access to diversion and prevention programs to help people stay housed and stresses there are all kinds of ways a person can become homeless, it’s not only because of substance addictions.

“We hear from people all the time who are on disability and just can’t afford to pay market rates, those who are evicted from their homes, or their leases go way up from one year to another and they simply can’t afford it,” Askeland said.

The next Point-in-Time count to assess the homeless population won’t be done until next spring.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Kelowna secondary basketballer nominated for Canada-wide All Canadian Games

KSS’s Rylee Semeniuk is one of 152 players nominated

Warriors introduce new leadership core, look for bounce back after Friday loss

West Kelowna’s three-game winning streak ended Friday with a 6-3 loss

‘It’s still early’: Flu rates down so far this year at Interior Health

At Kelowna General Hosptial, there have been about 50 confirmed cases

Undermanned Rockets come close in 1st game of road-trip with 3-2 loss to Silvertips

Kelowna continues the three-game stretch Saturday night in Portland

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Video, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read