Calls for women's homeless shelter in Penticton
A south Okanagan homeless woman is calling on the provincial government to fund a women’s homeless shelter in the City of Penticton.
49-year-old Sandra Hall has been living on the streets of Penticton since March.
She’s seeking a reprieve from the cold by staying at the emergency winter shelter in the former Super 8 motel on Main Street in Penticton, but she says there needs to be more shelter options for women in the south Okanagan.
“We need housing for women, we need housing for women that is low-barrier,” she said.
20 beds at the emergency winter shelter are reserved for men and seven for women. All of the female shelter beds are full.
Meanwhile, at the Compass House emergency shelter on Nanaimo Avenue East, twelve beds are reserved for men and four for women.
Shelter manager John Edwards says the female beds have been occupied for months.
He said the housing affordability crisis is pushing more people into precarious living situations.
Edwards said people are only supposed to stay at the shelter for a maximum of thirty days, but some have been living there for months.
He said despite the shelter operating at capacity for women, no one will be turned away.
“We will open up the dining area and the living room and put them in the living room so they are not out in the cold,” he said.
The two emergency shelters are operated by the Salvation Army and funded by BC Housing.
A request has been submitted to BC Housing for comment.
WATCH: Emergency winter shelter in Penticton nearing capacity