British Columbia

40 new shelter beds to open for homeless in Vernon

B.C. Housing is partnering with the City of Vernon to open 40 new short-term shelter beds in November as part of a new project called Compass.

The city's Gateway shelter has been operating over capacity all year

The City of Vernon is opening temporary shelter beds to respond to the municipality's growing homelessness problem. In September, city council voted against a proposed ban on shopping carts meant to discourage homelessness. (City of Vernon)

B.C. Housing is partnering with the City of Vernon to open 40 new short-term shelter beds in November as part of a new project called Compass.

The housing facility will be located on 33rd Street next to the Gateway shelter, which has been operating over capacity all year, according to a statement from the provincial government.

Gateway's operator, Turning Points Collaborative, will be responsible for managing the new project and providing round-the-clock support to its residents.

Last October, 153 people in the municipality self-identified as homeless.

In September 2018, Vernon's city council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to not proceed with a bylaw banning shopping carts on public property in the city.

People staying at Compass will have access to employment assistance, life-skills training and other support groups onsite to help residents find more stable housing.

Interim housing until spring 2019

The project is meant to operate until next spring when the province is set to open a 52-unit supportive housing project on 27th Avenue and 35th Street.

An additional 46 shelter beds on 43rd Street are expected to be ready in December.

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