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)

Controversial Penticton shelter permit 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

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

School District 83 trustees are leaning towards an option in the school district’s Long Range Facilities Plan that favours making Salmon Arm Secondary’s Sullivan campus and Jackson campus (pictured) both Grade 9-12 schools. (Google maps image)
Letter: Two high school option for Salmon Arm will create ‘have, have not’ situation

Writer concerned with E5 option, says transparent talk about implications needed

Left, Elena Bruns (2015 Rapattack Junior recruit/current Rapattack staff) and Leah Nash (2019 Rapattack Junior recruit/current Rapattack staff) in a helicopter on the Eagle Bluff Fire, August 2019. (Kamloops Fire Centre photo)
Salmon Arm students stick with wildfire fighting after junior Rapattack program

Junior Fire Crew program partners with Salmon Arm Secondary, develops students’ love for job

Work began April 6, 2021 on the Trans-Canada Highway downtown corridor project to improve safety and traffic flow, which will see the traffic light at Ross Street relocated to Fourth Street NE. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
VIDEO: Traffic slow downs to go through May on Salmon Arm highway corridor

Ministry says night work not planned on Highway 1, single lanes to remain as traffic light changed

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

The Royal’s 1951 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

Nolan's Pharmasave in downtown Vernon received 200 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines Friday, April 9, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
AstraZeneca vaccines arrive at Vernon pharmacies

Four pharmacies in the city received doses of the COVID-19 inoculant Friday

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on Thursday, April 8. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

An East Hill resident had their leaf bags torched in front of their home overnight April 8. Less than two weeks prior their garbage can was lit on fire too. (Taryn Allen photo)
Garbage, leaf fires spark fear in North Okanagan

First an East Hill residents’ trash can, then bagged leaves were lit on fire

Okanagan-based All Are Family Outreach Society, which provides support to those struggling from Armstrong to Kelowna, is in need of a new headquarters after leaving a Winfield church in June 2020. (All Are Family Outreach photo)
Okanagan outreach society in ‘desperate’ need after storage unit break-in

All Are Family Outreach had $4,000 in tools stolen from its donation shipping container

Most Read