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Kelowna’s Gospel Mission launches operation heatwave

Helping homeless stay cool

Madison Erhardt

The extreme heat across the Southern Interior has caused many people to hide indoors, but some don't have that luxury.

Brittnay Applegh lives on the streets of Kelowna. She didn’t want to appear on camera, but told Castanet both her and her dog spend a lot of time by the lake trying to keep cool.

“The shade, lots of resting and staying in one spot. I can’t move around too much. I know I'm going to pretty much have to stay in the shade or be at the lake in the water with her,” she said.

Environment Canada says a dangerous long-duration heat wave will roll over B.C. beginning on Saturday and lasting until Tuesday.

The warning indicates that daytime highs will range from 35 to 40 degrees celsius combined with overnight lows of 20 to 22 degrees celsius.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission says they are ready to help those on the streets beat the heat.

The Mission will utilize all three outreach vehicles during the day over the next week to ensure no one is in distress due to heatstroke, dehydration and sunburn.

"As the temperatures rise above 40 degrees this week, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is releasing operation heatwave. Our staff and volunteers will search, find, and serve our most vulnerable community members with a bottle of cold water, a hat, sunscreen as well as a vehicle to cool down in. This is going beyond the three meals that we deliver daily to the vulnerable people of Kelowna,” said emergency shelter director Karl Heinitz.

As well as serving three meals everyday, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission has a total of 110 emergency shelter beds for men and women, showers, laundry and four transitional homes for women.

The Kelowna Gospel Mission's Thrift Store at 125 Roxby Road provides items to people in need as well as helps fund the shelter programs.

Two local churches, Kelowna’s Gospel Fellowship and Emmanuel Church, have already stepped up to support Operation Heatwave by donating $500 worth of water each.

To help support Operation Heatwave go to www.kelownagospelmission.ca.



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