West Kelowna  

Addressing homelessness

The City of West Kelowna says it's working with organizations to try and come up with ways to deal with the homeless and those marginalized in the community.

Rosemary Weighill with the West Kelowna Shelter Society said, while shelter space is available at Emmanuel Church from 7 p.m. until 8 a.m., there is no place for these people to go to escape the elements during the day.

"This is an urgent request," said Weighill, noting the cold is on its way.

"We are at risk of losing some of these homeless people.Their health is very poor. We need to find a space soon."

Following the plea, Mayor Doug Findlater said staff are working with the society to try and identify space, saying he hopes something can happen soon.

The mayor also said the city has engaged a consultant who is looking at social issues and trends in the community.

"A report is coming in the new year with recommendations in terms of advocacy and what staff resources are  needed," he said.

The consultation process was born out of a presentation earlier this year on the homeless issue.

Findlater intimated the report may have come forward earlier, but said many projects were delayed as the city and staff worked on its response to historic spring flooding.

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