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Kelowna  

Scared deaths might occur

Alanna Kelly

A homeless shelter in Kelowna has been granted one more month at their location before they have to move out.

Inn from the Cold, located off Sutherland Avenue, has been desperately searching for a new space as an encroaching end of lease nears on October 1.

Executive director Jan Schulz said they found numerous suitable locations but space owners and leasers were unwilling to rent to a homeless shelter.

“Unfortunately, I have to report it is not going as well as we hoped by any means,” said Schulz.

Forty-five people who stay at Inn from the Cold will be forced to look elsewhere and according to Schulz they will move downtown. She added that Kelowna’s population of those living rough on the streets at night will spike by 25 per cent come November 1.

“Winter is coming and I am frankly scared that deaths might occur because of this,” she said.

Schulz says people have a preconceived idea of what it is like to be close to a homeless shelter.

“We at Inn from the Cold have very strong good neighbour policies that we adhere to and change on an on-going basis,” she said.

A nearby neighbour tells Castanet News that former Kelowna RCMP superintendent Bill McKinnon stopped by recently and has been doing checks of the area for the past three weeks now.

Schulz says a lot of the people they help are in their situation because of a twist of fate.

“The population we serve are trying to get their lives back on track,” she said. “Let's take away stigma, let's take away group titles and let's look at the individuals.”

Inn from the Cold will take any space at this point but it is hoping for a light industrial area space away from any residential areas.

Anyone who is interested in renting their space can contact [email protected]



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