Kelowna shelters at full capacity as cold snap arrives

Shelters at full capacity

Victoria Femia

With most Kelowna shelters already at capacity, the Gospel Mission is expecting an influx with the arrival of a cold snap.

Overnight lows for the first half of the week are now back below -10 C.

Kelowna Gospel Mission shelter manager Phillip Whatman says the shelter doesn’t necessarily get busier during the colder days, but it “brings more people inside, and that can cause some cabin fever.”

He said both the Leon and Doyle shelters are currently at full capacity.

“We try to let people come inside and warm up a bit and get them a hot coffee, so it’s warming people up, but we’re at capacity with beds, in that matter,” said Whatman.

The shelter plans to increase capacity at the Kelowna Unitarian Church to accommodate more people.

“If the RCMP do bring someone by, we’re going to try to accommodate by arranging for them to go to the Unitarian… so we’re going to increase our capacity by 10 beds there,” said Whatman.

He noted that increasing capacity all depends on staff levels at the shelters, as with COVID-19, he said, sometimes it's hard to get enough staff.

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