The B.C. government has thrown a lifeline to a home for homeless men in Kelowna.
The province has granted $60,000 to complete renovations at Chandler House, an eight-bed supportive-housing building. The Inn from the Cold-Kelowna society was having trouble raising the funds after a previous effort to renovate the structure fell short of fire-code regulations.
The society started a new round of renovations using funds, in-kind donations and volunteers. Members were unable to raise enough, the government said in a news release.
The house provides shelter to help homeless men get back on their feet. Staff apply a low-barrier philosophy, which allows tenants to use drugs and alcohol while social workers counsel them and provide mental support.
“We believe providing housing is the first step toward transitioning out of homelessness,” Emily Wright, the charity’s marketing volunteer, said in August. “We think having the support and a place to live will keep them sober in the long run.”
Last month, the government helped Inn from the Cold complete the renovations and the house has reached full occupancy. The men learn life skills such as cooking, budgeting and conflict resolution, and they get professional support through on-site visits.
“When people in need are given the stability of a home and are treated with dignity, it’s amazing to see how they respond and start to give back,” said agency co-ordinator Tara Tschritter.