The City of Penticton’s temporary permit expires today at Victory Church. (Jesse Day Western News)

The City of Penticton’s temporary permit expires today at Victory Church. (Jesse Day Western News)

Permit for Victory Church homeless shelter expires today

Shelter operator says they are focused on caring for the many people who use the facility

The temporary permit for the Victory Church shelter expires today, March 31.

City council has vowed to stick to the March 31 deadline, while BC Housing minister David Eby has stepped in to use the province’s paramountcy powers to override the city and keep the emergency shelter running.

For Tony Laing, CEO of Penticton And District Society for Community Living (PDSCL), the organization that operates the Victory Church shelter, he is focused on continuing to provide shelter and care for the tenants.

“The temporary permit is an issue between two levels of government and we will leave it to the city and province to sort out. PDSCL is committed to providing shelter services that BC Housing is funding,” said Laing.

The shelter on Winnipeg Street has been full every night, he said.

“More than 70 individuals will use Victory shelter throughout the month,” he said.

The Victory Church shelter has been a divisive issue right now in Penticton, but Laing hopes some compassion and understanding can prevail from the community.

“Treating the homeless and those less fortunate than ourselves as something to be feared is not working,” he said. “Perhaps if we changed our attitudes and approached this issue like thousands of staff and volunteers do every day, treat them as fellow human beings. It doesn’t take special training or skills to be a decent person.”

If these tenants of Victory Church were pushed out April 1, as the city would like, Laing wonders where they would go.

“The majority will become rough sleepers,” Laing replied.

A “point in time count” will be done next week to get a more accurate count of those experiencing homelessness in Penticton.

Last year, a count couldn’t be done because of COVID-19.

Daryl Meyers from Pathways is the local coordinator of the count.

“We already know 120 individuals by name that used the Compass House and Victory Shelters in January and February,” said Laing. The PDSCL also operates Compass House.

READ MORE: City council to look at legal action for Victory Church

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


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

Two teen boys admitted to playing with a lighter for the April 16 wildfire in Oliver. (Lynda Shoemaker photo Facebook)
Two youths admit to causing grass fire in Oliver

That same night a 26-year-old man was arrested for deliberately setting a field on fire

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Abandoned Rail Brewing Company, located at 1220 Davenport Ave. on the KVR trail, has applied to the City of Penticton for a manufacturing facility and lounge endorsement. The city will review the application in their April 20, 2021 council meeting. (City of Penticton photo)
Penticton could be getting a new brewery on the KVR trail

The patio would seat up to 113 just 10 feet from the trail

courts
Penticton man guilty of assaulting young boys

Bryan Lamb was found guilty of two counts of assault

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
‘Do not occupy’ order lifted, residents of West Kelowna apartment allowed to return home

The building was evacuated early Sunday morning due to a strange smell

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter team was asked to be on standby to rescue a missing hiker in Naramata. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)
Lost hiker rescued in Okanagan Mountain Park

COSAR, PENSAR, and VSAR worked together to rescue a hiker in Okanagan Mountain Park

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Increased COVID-19 activity brings vaccine clinic to Enderby

Registration opens Tuesday, April 20 for May clinic for anyone over the age of 18

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Most Read