President's Report January 2021

January 28, 2021

President's Report by Dianne Kapty

Kelowna Yoga House Society is a not-for-profit society, run by a board of directors and the dedicated service of its many volunteers! I offer this report as a peek behind the scenes at the studio and in the neighbourhood. I include comments on the downtown homeless situation and the activities of Metro Community (our next-door neighbour) as I believe we need to understand what is happening so we can learn to co-exist with the less fortunate around us. 

By way of introduction, I retired to Kelowna in 2011. My mother’s next-door neighbour took me with her when she ran an errand to the KYH studio, and it was such an inviting space even empty. My first class was with Krisna, and I soon settled into Tracy’s beginner class (and coffee afterwards). I joined the work exchange program and washed the floors once a week. I was elected to the board of directors at the 2013 AGM. In February 2015 I switched my work exchange task to receptionist/office person one morning a week. At the height of the unlimited pass I took 3-5 classes per week. At the depth of the pandemic I took one online class per week. Despite the pandemic persisting, I realized that Kelowna Yoga House is important to me and put my name forward for president of the board. And I realized that Iyengar yoga is important to me and I am now taking three online classes per week. As Melissa said in a recent class ‘yoga is amazing for the body at all ages and all stages’.

A big thank you to the 108 individuals who responded to our survey. A committee has been formed to analyze the results. We will start with action items that can be done in the near future. A report will be prepared for the February meeting of the board to guide the future of the Kelowna Yoga House Society.

COVID-19 in BC - Restrictions on events and gatherings have been extended to February 5, 2021 at midnight. KYH in-studio classes follow the Public Health Guidelines for Group Low Intensity Exercise (December 14, 2020). These days it seems that life is best lived one day at a time.

Metro Community (our next-door neighbour) works with individuals living in Kelowna who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. To learn more about Metro Community visit New staff have joined Jeff Simla (Executive Pastor). Joel Feddersen is Lead Pastor, and Amber Webster-Kotak has the dual role of Executive Director of Metro Central and Manager of Welcome Inn (until it closes March 31). Metro staff are working with City bylaw staff and the RCMP to move along people who are loitering in the alley behind our buildings. Their staff periodically clear garbage from our parking lot area, help us with snow removal both back and front, and have offered to work with us to clean up the graffiti on and around our building. After the emergency shelter closes at the end of March Metro plans to convert their building at 1265 Ellis Street to offices for staff, community centre space (eg, for their Sunday church services, etc), and a café to employ folks transitioning out of homelessness. The space will not be available for emergency shelter purposes next winter.

Downtown Homeless Situation.

  • Temporary winter shelter for 40 persons opened in October at 550 Doyle Avenue (previously Kelowna Daily Courier), operated by the Kelowna Gospel Mission 
  • The Welcome Inn, temporary winter shelter for 39 persons, opened in November at 1265 Ellis Street, operated by Metro Community in collaboration with Turning Points Collaborative, scheduled to close March 31. 
  • Temporary winter shelter for 38 persons opened at 1083 Richter Street (previously Tree Brewing) on Monday January 25, managed by Turning Points Collaborative.
  • With the new temporary shelter, there will be a total of approximately 265 beds available on a nightly basis this winter in Kelowna.
  • BC Housing has partnered with Metro Community to open a hygiene centre, at 1262 St. Paul Street, to provide laundry facilities, showers and access to harm reduction services. The hygiene centre will open in early February, and will operate from 8:30 am until 2:00 pm as part of Metro Community’s drop-in program. 

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