More people experiencing homelessness in Vernon can find a safe, warm place this winter as BC Housing and the city open new short-term shelter beds in the community.
In November, approximately 40 short-term beds are scheduled to open at 2804-33rd St., next to the Gateway shelter, in the former Kelpro Computers building. Turning Points Collaborative, the operator of the Gateway shelter, will manage the new project called Compass, providing residents with 24/7 support.
“This is very good new and we’re very excited,” said Kelly Fehr, co-executive director of Turning Points Collaborative. “Minor renovations will be made to the building and we hope to open as soon as possible.”
According to BC Housing, the shelter has been operating over capacity all year and cannot increase services.
People wanting to stay at Compass will go through a thorough assessment process.
They will have access to on-site support, including life-skills training and employment assistance, in addition to connection and referral to community services and support groups to help them achieve and maintain housing stability.
Fehr called the Compass project “a bridge” to future housing.
“The beds at Compass are an interim measure until spring 2019, when a new 52-unit permanent supportive housing project, announced by the province in November 2017, called My House, is expected to open at 3500-27th Avenue and 2600-35th Street,” said Fehr.
Construction is also nearing completion for 46 new shelter beds at 2307-43rd St. This project is expected to open in December 2018.