New bridge housing facility to open in Kelowna this month

40 beds to ease crunch

Some relief for Kelowna's homeless situation.

A new bridge housing facility will open in mid-December to provide 40 short-term beds, operated by the John Howard Society.

With existing shelters at full capacity or still under construction, demand for housing is at an all time high.

With the opening of the facility, individuals waiting in shelters for housing will free-up spaces for those currently outside.

The building at 555 Fuller Ave. beside the Royal Canadian Legion is being renovated to provide 24/7 support.

The facility would operate for the winter only, closing at the end of March.

The City of Kelowna owns the property and will lease it to BC Housing.

Those who apply to live at the facility must be Kelowna residents, over the age of 19, and must meet eligibility requirements in regards to income, homelessness and required programming.

Services will include life skills training, employment assistance and more.

Under the Journey Home Strategy, the goal is to help get people off the streets immediately and out of local shelters, with a long-term goal of helping them obtain and maintain housing. 

BC Housing, Interior Health and the John Howard Society will focus first on providing stable housing, then they will focus on promoting recovery.

The facility will not exclude those with substance use issues, and the facility will permit drug-use in a designated area, monitored by staff with a safe-disposal site for needles.

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