Vernon, B.C. — Turning Points Collaborative Society continues to lead the way in British Columbia when it comes to innovative approaches to health and safety for those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Turning Points is the first organization in the province to introduce sleeping pods to an emergency shelter. The pods will help those experiencing homelessness to better practice physical distancing.

“Our goal throughout this pandemic has always been to protect the health and safety of our clients, staff and the community at large,” explained Randene Wejr, executive director at Turning Points Collaborative Society. “The sleeping pods are just another in many health and safety measures we have put in place over the past several weeks.”

The pods are a result of a partnership between BC Housing, which funds the shelter, and Turning Points Collaborative Society, who runs the shelter.

The sleeping pods will also be introduced to other emergency shelter sites across the province.

In early April, Turning Points partnered with the City of Vernon and BC Housing to combine its emergency shelters into one space at the Vernon Curling Club.

At the time, Vernon was the only community in the province to amalgamate its emergency shelters to better protect those experiencing homelessness from COVID-19. Since that time, several communities have followed suit, adopting the innovative model.

“All of these ‘best practices’ we have introduced have resulted due to strong partnerships with regional and local governments and organizations,” stated Wejr. “We are incredibly proud of these partnerships, not only are they proving to be beneficial for our clients and staff, but they are making communities safer and healthier for everyone right across British Columbia.”