Emergency cold weather shelter at Penticton's Oasis Church

New shelter for emergency

A new emergency cold weather shelter is opening Tuesday night to deal with a devastating cold snap that has engulfed the city and overwhelmed existing shelters. 

Kim Jaggard and friend Crystal Woodward of the John Howard Society spent Monday evening shuttling people in need of a warm place to supportive housing building Burdock House, which had opened its common area.

"Everyone was just kind of sitting at tables, and we had people bringing in donations of food, but nowhere to really sleep," Jaggard said.

Tonight, the city has provided over a dozen cots, along with blankets and pillows, and Oasis United Church on Skaha Lake Road has provided space. 

"They will be open from 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., all the way until Saturday morning," Jaggard said. 

Local shelters have been full to the brim in recent days as temperatures plummeted to the negative double digits. 

Jaggard said that if there were to be another emergency alert for extreme weather, she could see the shelter being reopened in the future. 

In the mean time, if anyone wants to help those sheltering at Oasis, they are welcome to drop off warm clothes, blankets and food. 

"We are sending these people back to the streets at 7:30 in the morning, so anything they can provide, they are totally welcome to do that."

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