A shelter for homeless youth has added 32 new transitional housing beds.

A $1.9-million renovation of Covenant House on Pender Street saw 14 bachelor apartments converted into a communal kitchen and lounge area and increased the number of beds to 54.

Krista Thompson, the executive director of Covenant House, said prior to renovations, her staff was forced to turn away more youth that they were able to bring inside. “We’ve not turned one kid away since we opened the program,” Thompson said.

Covenant House provides services like homeless outreach, drop-in programs and life-skills training for 1,900 young people a year.

Money for the renovations came from the province, the federal government and VANOC. The latter donated $250,000 as part of its commitment to inner-city sustainability.

Donna Wilson, VANOC’s executive vice-president of people and sustainability, said the investment in Covenant House represented a longer-term legacy of the Olympics.

The province, which gave $850,000 for the repairs, is also providing almost $4 million over three years in operational funding.

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