Bundled up from the cold in downtown Penticton.

Bundled up from the cold in downtown Penticton.

Helping the homeless during the cold snap

With freezing temperatures in the forecast, locals are aiming to help the homeless population get through the cold snap.

With freezing temperatures in the forecast, locals are aiming to help the homeless population get through the cold snap.

Tuesday and Wednesday, residents across the Okanagan felt the chill as temperatures hovered around -19 C.

Kristine Lee helped distribute eight jackets which convert into sleeping bags to some of the homeless population in Penticton.

Lee plans to continue raising funds for more jackets, which were created by The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based, non-profit organization who hire single parents from local shelters and provide them with training and full-time employment manufacturing the jackets.

The jackets cost $180 each.

“I heard from a few places that there’s 260 people without a home in Penticton. So that’s a pretty large number for a small town,” Lee said. “Even just standing out there for an hour handing out coffee and donuts, I was freezing, and I was bundled up. So I can’t imagine attempting to sleep in that.”

Lee reached out to local individuals and businesses for funding on Facebook, getting donations to acquire the jackets from individuals. The Nest and Nectar chipped in as well, paying for two jackets.

Lee is planning more events and fundraising in the future to help the homeless population.

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold air mass right through the week; however a frontal system will move down off the coast near the end of the week which will spread cloud — warming the temperatures for the Interior.

Thursday and into the weekend temperatures will hover around -9 C, warming even more by Saturday to  -5 C across the Okanagan Valley.

See more: Video: Cold front chills Okanagan

 

Penticton Western News

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