Cold weather shelter changes address

The Cold Snap Inn, which has operated out of Cheers The Church in Penticton in recent years, will not open its doors for the rest of the cold weather season.

When the temperatures fall to -9 C or -10 C, homeless people can now find shelter at the Compass House, the emergency shelter already in existence in Penticton.

"This makes the most fiscal sense, because we were paying two staff from Compass House to be at Cheers," said Dennis Cyr, a case worker at Compass House and pastor at Cheers. "Whereas we can accommodate people here."

Compass House, which assists both men and women, will provide basically the same services on freezing nights, as the Cold Snap Inn did.

People can arrive at the location at 123 Nanaimo Street at 8 p.m. and leave the next morning. There will be breakfast and cots set up to accommodate them.

The change of address will not affect the number of beds available to the homeless in Penticton, because they will be setting up cots in the common area.

One change is there won't be an evening meal, because at the shelter at the church, people were just coming for the dinner then leaving, said Cyr.

Under normal circumstances, Compass House does not accept intoxicated people, but with it expected to get very cold this week, they can make exceptions.

"They can come by at 8 p.m., if they are having a hard time outdoors," says Cyr. "If they are belligerent they will have to leave and they have to follow the basic rules of being here."

Compass House is continuing its normal operations and will just set up cots when the extreme weather sets in.

Cyr said they are also no longer putting out an extreme weather alert in the cold weather, instead they have alerted service providers in the area including social workers at the hospital and the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society to what they are doing.

Word has already gone out to those providers this week, that shelter is available at Compass House.

"I expect we will be running for the next while, until the cold weather moves on," said Cyr.

He added they typically house up to 12 people at Compass House, but will not turn people away on the extreme weather days. 


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