ESD & Inn from the Cold

March 19, 2014

ESD has been a proud supporter of a wonderful local organisation Inn from the Cold - Kelowna, and has been delighted to be able to assist in donating a brand new washer and dryer for the charity. I spoke with Jordan and got her thoughts about Inn from the Cold, their current projects and plans for the future.

Inn from the Cold runs an emergency shelter from the first of November through to the end of March which allows people too literally to come in from the cold during the winter months. It gives them somewhere to sleep, have some food and keeps them warm overnight. In the Okanagan winter, temperatures can drop as low as -15 centigrade. As a result, Inn from the Cold is not only an act of kindness, it also saves lives.

Visitors to the shelter often have only the clothes on their back, as a result the clothes they are wearing have often been worn for several days without an opportunity to wash them. One of the basic needs of an individual outside of a warm shelter and food is having clean clothes. ESD is delighted to be able to assist in donating a new washer and dryer for the guests of Inn from the Cold Kelowna.

“We are fortunate to partner with the hospital to meet our laundry needs as far as bedding goes – but we want to provide laundry access to our guests as well. These machines offer the opportunity to develop the life skill of doing laundry; wearing clean clothes also positively impacts one’s sense of dignity, value, and confidence.”

These new facilities will be available to up to 35 residents at any time and provides a key service to those who otherwise wouldn'’t have access to these amenities.

Inn from the Cold not only provides shelter to those who need it most, they run a total five programs which include Shelter, Outreach, Inn Home support, Kodiak Street Soccer and a Free Store.

“There is an outreach and case management service where an employed professional works with the people who stay in the shelter. To help them find permanent accommodation, access to medical services, whatever they need to help them to take the next step. In the summer time, when the shelter is closed, the outreach worker is out working on the streets working the people who would normally stay.”

“(Inn-home support) is for people who have somewhere to live but are at risk at losing it. Often when people are moving into accommodation for the first time they don’t know how to cook for themselves, shop for themselves, or how to engage in social activities. So, the Inn-Home Support Program partners a volunteer with someone who was recently housed to provide additional one-on-one support.  The volunteers goes and visits with the participant every week to go shopping, attend community functions, or any other areas the participant needs help with their lives. They act as a kind of mentor to help prevent them slipping back into homelessness again.”

Into the future, Inn from the Cold has lofty goals, including provision of housing for longer term residents looking to get back on their feet and social enterprise to create sustainability.

“At the moment we are looking at leasing a building, to try and give permanent housing to some of those who stay in the shelter. To move them out of the shelter, into housing with support. There would probably eight people living in the building with 24 / 7 staffing and supports to try help them maintain their residency, and work towards their personal goals, be it recovery, employment, or independent housing.”

Inn from the Cold is hugely dependent on volunteers and is always looking for more. In addition to the hundreds of hours required each winter to keep the shelter running, the Inn Home Support Program also relies on volunteers. If you would like to assist in any way, please visit the Inn from the Cold website:

 - Donations (Monetary or Material Goods):

 - Become a Volunteer:

 - Contact Inn from the Cold Kelowna:

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