Desert Sun wants to bring a temporary winter shelter to the Oliver United Church but town council asked to see alternative locations. (Facebook)

Oliver United Church pulls shelter offer

The church and Desert Sun Counselling had proposed running a temporary shelter in 2020

  • May. 21, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The Oliver United Church retracted their request to serve as a cold weather shelter.

The church’s council voted unanimously to retract their offer, according to an email sent on May 17 and included in the May 25 council agenda.

The proposal to use the shelter had been brought forward to Oliver’s town council by the church and Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre.

Had the shelter gone forward, it would have provided a maximum of 10 seasonal beds from Nov. 1 to March 30.

READ MORE: Oliver Winter Shelter postponed further

Following the initial presentation to town council, a public hearing was held and feedback gathered, of which 31 of the 64 responses opposed the shelter.

Alternate locations, including the Oliver Elks Club, Oliver Legion and the old library building 6239 Station St. were considered, however the owners of all three properties rejected housing the shelter.

The town of Oliver does not currently have a shelter, and during the cold snap in February this year, the Seventh Day Adventist Church opened its doors temporarily.

READ MORE: Seventh Day Adventist Churches in Oliver and Osoyoos open as cold weather shelters

The town of Oliver’s 2020 Housing Needs report noted that there were an estimated 50 youth ‘couch surfing’ from house to house as of December 2019, as well as 32 to 40 people who are are homeless or living in trailers, vehicles and tents in Oliver.

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