The City of Kelowna is introducing new, innovative thermal beds to bring warmth to those experiencing homelessness throughout the city.
Sourcing the beds from a manufacturer in Czechia, the city has 20 one-person and seven two-person shelters that will provide space for up to 34 Kelowna residents.
“They are lightweight, they have multiple ventilation and are easy to assemble,” said community safety services manager Collen Cornock.
“The units are intended only for use at the overnight designated shelter site (at the intersection of Richter Street and the Rail Trail) and they are first-come first serve.”
The beds are expected to reach 15 to 18 degrees inside based on body heat alone. Cornock did caution that because it is a pilot program, there is potential for mistreatment of the beds.
“We recognize that there could be damage along the way, so that is to be expected, but if they are used in their intended purpose, then they should be fine as we will be monitoring them throughout.”
Cornock added that if the program goes well, then the ability to expand it to more beds next winter is a possibility.