A temporary housing shelter in West Kelowna, B.C., is shutting down at the end of September, leaving some residents in a panic to find housing amidst a housing crisis in the Central Okanagan.
BC Housing opened up the shelter attached to the Super 8 Motel on Highway 97 back in May of 2020. It was created to support those trying to get back on their feet, but the organization says it will not be renewing the lease when it expires on Sept. 30.
“I honestly don’t know what to do,” expressed resident Paul Kelly.
“It’s hard to imagine for a person like me.”
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Kelly says he recently suffered a traumatic brain injury, after having a stroke and seizure. He spent several weeks at Kelowna General Hospital before returning to the temporary shelter, where he quickly learned he would need to find a new home.
“It’s pretty devastating for someone in my position,” said Kelly.
The West Kelowna resident is calling on the province as well as local governments to build more affordable housing for those in need.
“It is just a temporary solution, but a temporary solution for a problem that’s been going on for how long,” said Kelly.
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“Temporary solutions just don’t do it.”
Turning Points Collaborative Society, which operates the facility, released a statement to Global News, saying they are looking to help find housing for those who will be displaced.
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“Our case management team continues to work with current residents of the program to secure appropriate housing,” Turning Points said in a statement.
“The housing situation in our community is critical, and so we continue to work closely with BC Housing and other partners in the Okanagan to find meaningful housing solutions for people experiencing homeless in our community.”
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BC Housing, also echoing that same message, ensured that support is on the way.
“We know that there is a shortage of affordable housing available for people experiencing homelessness in West Kelowna,” BC Housing said in a statement.
“We continue to work with the non-profit operator, Turning Points, to find alternative housing for everyone currently accessing the rooms at Super 8.”
BC Housing added that they’ve opened 224 affordable rentals in West Kelowna since 2017, with another 55 units on the way.
Global News also reached out to the City of West Kelowna, but we did not receive a response in time for publication.
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