Okanagan agencies partner to bring community in from the cold

Seven new spaces opened at shelter

The cold snap has opened seven more beds for Vernon’s most vulnerable.

Turning Points Collaborative Society (TPCS) has partnered with CMHA-Vernon to expand the temporary winter shelter program by seven spaces.

“One of the barriers we faced in opening more shelter space was staff,” said Turning Points Co-Executive Director Kelly Fehr. “Partnering with CMHA-Vernon addresses the staffing shortage and allows us to open the available space to those who need to come in from the cold.”

The seven temporary spaces will be made available starting tonight, Jan. 14, and will remain open for the duration of this cold snap, which is forecasted to subside by Friday, Jan. 17.

“The strength of our community truly lies in our willingness to work together to help those in need,” CMHA-Vernon Branch executive director Julia Payson said. “We have always had a strong relationship with Turning Points, and this partnership, at this critical time of need in our community demonstrates perfectly that relationship.”

Since the beginning of this latest winter storm, there has been an increased need in Vernon for certain services, like shelter space.

Over the past week, Turning Points has opened 13 additional spaces at the temporary winter shelter bringing the total spaces available in the temporary winter shelter program to 32.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and if the need for certain services again arises, we are confident, that thanks to strong community partnerships like the one we have with CMHA-Vernon, we will be able to find a solution that saves lives,” Fehr said.

The temporary winter shelter is located at 2800 33rd St., Vernon.

Throughout the three TPCS shelter programs, there are 118 spaces available for community members experiencing homelessness.

READ MORE: Snowstorm drives up need for warm donations for Vernon’s homeless

READ MORE: Baby, it’s cold inside Vernon’s Schubert Centre


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