An emergency winter shelter is finally open in Penticton at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Warren Avenue West.
The shelter has 30 beds according to the listing on the BC Housing website, and is listed as an extreme weather response shelter, which open overnight during extreme cold temperatures and/or heavy snowfall.
The listing was added at some point on Nov. 1o, after the provincial government announced other emergency shelters open across the province on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
When queried, the city of Penticton pointed to 100 More Homes Penticton who are in charge through BC Housing to organize shelters locally.
There has been no formal announcement about an extreme weather shelter opening. Meanwhile, temperatures at night have been ranging between -5 C and -12 C not factoring in windchill.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church at 290 Warren Avenue West.
The Compass Court shelter on Main Street in Penticton is also still operating and is year-round.
Last week, a letter signed by numerous shelter providers in the Okanagan, including both Penticton organizations, said shelters are a failing system that has become a dangerous place for both staff and shelter users.
They say the cycle of bringing people in from the cold and providing them with the barest of supports, and then kicking them back to the streets in the spring has become “an exercise in futility at best.”
“Our shelters have become a place where people languish because there has been no investment in programs, health, skills, wellness planning, and second stage housing,” the letter states.
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