New executive director named for Gospel Mission in Kelowna

The Gospel Mission in Kelowna has announced that Carmen Rempel will be its new executive director.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve with Kelowna’s Gospel Mission,” Rempel said.

Founded in 1978 as a drop-in centre, the Kelowna Gospel Mission has evolved to service the needs of those experiencing homelessness on the streets of Kelowna.

Rempel will replace longtime Gospel Mission head Randy Benson, who decided to retire late last year after almost 20 years of running the organization.

“Randy Benson has built up a strong and solid team that serves well, despite concurrent crisis and ever-changing circumstances,” Rempel said.

Benson will help usher Rempel into her new role during the Mission’s leadership transition, as the former executive director moves the role of an advisor.

“I’m thrilled to be passing on the baton to Carmen and am confident that there are great days ahead for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.” Benson said.

Rempel, who hails from Kelowna, brings a decade of experience in the non-profit sector to her new position.

Most recently, Rempel served as the founder and director of Youth For Christ Okanagan, a non-profit group based in Kelowna that supports at-risk youth.

Global News caught up with Rempel on the third day of her new job at the Gospel Mission on Leon Avenue.

Rempel was still busy meeting some of her new co-workers.

“There’s an incredible staff here,” said Rempel of the Gospel Mission. “I’ve been very impressed with everybody I’ve met.”

In her new role as executive director, Rempel says she will rely heavily on staff when it comes to how the Gospel Mission will move forward in serving the needs of those living on the streets.

“Really, it’s going to be our outreach staff, it’s going to be our people who are on the floor that are really going to envision what we could be and how we are going to address the complex issue of homelessness in Kelowna,” Rempel told Global News on Wednesday.

Rempel is well aware she has some pretty big shoes to fill in her new gig.

“I want to honour him and the amazing work that he has done here,” Rempel said of Benson.

Benson feels good about his successor, and is confident that Rempel is the right person to carry on his tradition.

“It’s time for me to step aside, some fresh blood come in and take the Mission to the next level and I think Carmen will do that,” Benson told Global News.

Rempel officially takes over on June 15th.

“I can promise to listen, I can promise that I will communicate and that we are going to do the best we can with the circumstances we have,” said Rempel, “and that we will be advocating for those experiencing homelessness on the streets of Kelowna.”

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