Posted Apr. 9, 2020
Recently, Welcome Inn Shelter has been converted into a Hygiene Center. Welcome Inn has closed and the other shelters have reduced their numbers to make it safe, given the new realities around COVID-19 (to enable social distancing). In light of this we believed that it was critical that essential services like hygiene and food service were maintained in the community for those who are forced to shelter outside. Food service is being very capably handled by the Kelowna Gospel Mission, Salvation Army and Metro Community but with so many of places people would typically go for showers having closed, it left a clear gap. Seeing this need it became clear that we couldn’t permanently close the doors at the Welcome Inn.
On March 27th we officially closed the shelter and then reopened as a hygiene center March 31st. With strong support from BC Housing and the City of Kelowna we were able to retrofit, purchase 5 sets of laundry machines and now staff this facility on an ongoing basis. We have now focused our efforts on building service that allows for social distancing and service that is simple so it can be maintained even if the current crisis gets a lot worse. Our services include showers, laundry, basic health checks and free clothing.
If any of you have extra clothing that you would like to donate, please bring it by Welcome Inn anytime Friday April 10th to Wednesday April 15th between 8:00am and 4:00pm. Please call ahead to 778-940-6884 and we will come out to your vehicle to pickup bags. As we have limited resources to sort and manage this service please bring in only the following items that are currently in high demand:
Blankets &sleeping bags
Jeans, Sweatpants or shorts - Smaller waist sizes (30 to 36)
T shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, light jackets
Socks and ball caps
Jeans, Yoga pants or shorts - Smaller waist sizes
T shirts, sweaters, hoodies, light jackets
We have a good stock of cold weather gear and really are in need of clothing suitable for the warmer weather that is coming now. Please bring in clothing with no physical damage that are clean. Thank you again for your support!
Stay tuned as we continue to look for ways to serve the vulnerable in our community! We hope to find other ways to serve alongside you all in the future!!
Jason & Tara