Desert Sun wants to bring a temporary winter shelter to the Oliver United Church but town council asked to see alternative locations.

Desert Sun wants to bring a temporary winter shelter to the Oliver United Church but town council asked to see alternative locations.

No cold weather shelter yet for the town of Oliver

Desert Sun picked Oliver United Church but the public has concerns with that location

Work is still underway to find a suitable location for a winter shelter for those experiencing homelessness in Oliver. But a shelter won’t be open for this cold snap.

At the Feb. 8 Oliver town meeting, councillors heard feedback on the proposed use of Oliver United Church and other possible locations it could go.

The feedback included comments from the Dec. 3, 2020 public meeting with the Church and the Desert Sun Counselling & Resource Centre, on the proposal.

READ MORE: Virtual meeting for Oliver winter shelter is tonight

Out of the responses that city staff received, 31 of 64 opposed the shelter. Safety was the top concern.

Among the online feedback the city received, concerns of response time and limited policing, theft, and the proximity to nearby schools and residences were top of the list.

Many responses suggested alternative locations, from the Air Cadet to the old library on Station St., and even to an empty retail location downtown.

Following the feedback, staff reached out to the Oliver Elks Club, Oliver Legion, the owner of 6239 Station Street and the owner of 6018 Main Street. The Elks and Legion noted they couldn’t currently house the shelter, but offered their support for it.

The owner of 6239 Station Street offered his support for housing the shelter, in exchange for operating the property as a hostel or hotel through the rest of the year. The last property owner did not respond to the city.

Building code and parking requirements would have to be considered, and the floor plan was passed on to Desert Sun.

Desert Sun is seeking a three-year temporary use permit to run the shelter seasonally from Nov. 1 to March 30 out of the United Church.

READ MORE: If Oliver approves a winter shelter, it would be the first to house the homeless

The permit would allow a maximum of 10 beds and one metal storage container to hold people’s personal belongings.

There are currently no shelter beds or housing units for people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, according to the town’s 2020 housing needs report.

That report also said that there were an estimated 50 youth ‘couch surfing’ from house to house as of Dec. 2019, as well as 32 to 40 people who ar are homeless or living in trailers, vehicles and tents in Oliver.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

homeless housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and staying as a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Forward Ethan Mann from Wisconsin has committed to the Penticton Vees for the 2021-22 season.(Contributed)
Penticton Vees land Wisconsin-born forward Ethan Mann

Mann scored 32 points in 21 high school hockey games this year in Wisconsin

The Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. (Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre photo)
Osoyoos Indian Band receives $400,000 grant for heritage project

Some of the money will be used to build a traditional pit house at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read