'Not warm enough': Insulated shelters no match for Kelowna winter, says Rail Trail resident

'Not warm enough'

Two weeks into the City of Kelowna's distribution of insulated shelters to those without homes, a man who received one says they are no warmer than a typical tent.

Darcy, who lives at the Rail Trail encampment, tells Castanet he was given one of the thermal shelters last week when temperatures dropped well below zero.

He says bylaw officers came around offering them to people and had asked if they needed help setting them up. Darcy says he was able to set it up on his own.

"It's not warm enough. It's nice to store stuff in," Darcy said.

The foam shelters have the potential to increase the inside temperature between 15 and 18 degrees above the outside temperature, said the city when it revealed them.

Darcy says cold air is able to leak through the openings and he was unable to keep very warm while inside.

The shelter was then stolen a few days later.

The City of Kelowna has acquired 27 of the shelters at a cost of $500 to $700 each as a part of a pilot project this winter to deal with overcrowded brick-and-mortar emergency shelters.

City of Kelowna bylaw services manager Kevin Mead says they are happy to receive feedback on the pilot project "on how they might be improved and their utility at the end of the day."

"Some of the ventilation is really for their own safety. The jury is still out," Mead added.

Mead says city employees will monitor and assess the initiative as it continues.

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