Extreme weather that brought flooding water to the B.C. Interior, is now causing issues for area residents as temperatures begin to tip and snow starts to fall.
For those experiencing homelessness the situation is even more dire. Kelowna Gospel Mission does not have enough emergency shelter beds to accommodate the increased demand due to the dramatic change in weather.
“We do have a shortage of emergency shelter beds, especially with what is going on in Merritt,” says Sonja Menyes from the Kelowna Gospel Mission.
Those displaced by flooding in the Merritt are seeking shelter in Kelowna, but there is not enough availability.
“We need more emergency shelter beds,” says Menyes. “There are still people left outside.”
Menyes expects all shelter beds to be full Monday night (Dec. 6).
Monday morning, the Gospel Mission outreach team identified 17 people sleeping outside in various places around Kelowna. The Gospel Mission outreach team is working on the streets of Kelowna seven days a week, 13 hours a day to provide Kelowna’s vulnerable populations with food, hot drinks, clothing, blankets, and other necessities.
“There are really no warm-up spots in Kelowna,” says Menyes. People without homes have limited options for shelter during the day, even during snowstorms.
Menyes asks Kelowna to have grace for people that are experiencing homelessness.
People looking to help those without lodging can check out kelownagospelmission.ca for information on how to volunteer and donate.