BC Housing has announced plans to operate a new cold weather shelter at a motel on the south end of Penticton.
The Swiss Sunset Inn at 2604 Skaha Lake Rd. will host 20 cold weather beds, possibly to be operated by ASK Wellness, which manages the Fairhaven transitional housing development next door.
BC Housing would not comment on the arrangement that will see the beds used for the homeless, but a manager at the Swiss Sunset Inn told Castanet they are leasing the rooms out to the organization on a temporary basis with plans to resume regular tourist motel operations in the spring.
The 20 beds at the Swiss Sunset Inn will be in addition to 27 at the former site of the Super 8 on Main Street and 29 at Compass House, which is open all year.
The cold weather shelter at the old Super 8 and at Compass House is operated by the Salvation Army.
Shelter manager Roger Evans is optimistic there will be enough space to keep people off the streets this winter, noting they were able to manage last year.
The shelter at the Super 8 will be open Nov. 3, he said, and a mad dash is underway to get everything prepared. “Everything is coming together, and we will be ready.”
Evans estimated the renovations at the Super 8 to convert it into a transitional housing project, like the Fairhaven, should be complete in March.
The Salvation Army shelters are always accepting donations of blankets, warm clothing, slippers, toques and gloves. Donors can also help the homeless by gifting the same items to SOREB’s annual “warm up the winter” blanket drive, which has donations bins spread throughout the community.
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