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No running water for over a week at Kelowna homeless encampment

The popular ‘Tent City’ is maintained by the City of Kelowna
The only water fountain at Kelowna’s Rail Trail homeless encampment has not been working for over a week (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

Kelowna’s city-maintained homeless encampment currently has no running water.

The single fountain at the ‘Tent City’ located along the Rail Trail has been out of operation for over a week, said Debbie (last name concealed for privacy), one of the encampment’s residents.

Tom Wilson with the City of Kelowna confirmed the water bottle filler is not operational due to vamdalism.

READ MORE: Beautifying tent city: Resident providing fresh food through community garden

The water fountain provides clean water to approximately 50 residents of Tent City on a daily basis.

Without access to running water, some residents have been drinking from the nearby creek, which is not suited for consumption.

Wilson said bottled water is being provided by outreach workers and onsite peer navigators.

Not all residents were on-site during the water delivery and have had to rely on others to share their bottled water, said Debbie.

There is a tent set up by Metro Community located approximately 500 metres from the encampment that is providing bottled water.

Residents explained that the trek is difficult to do when experiencing withdrawal, and managing health conditions like infection, while having to lug all of their belongings with them.

Debbie said that residents cannot leave their belongings unattended because of the risk of theft or it being thrown out by law enforcement.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s vulnerable want to shelter from heatwave, but bylaw requires they move

Debbie said that bylaw is aware of the situation and has been working to have the fountain fixed.

Capital News has reached out to the City of Kelowna for comment.


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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