(Pixabay)

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place bring extreme weather shelter to Sooke

Move comes after years of no shelter for the community’s homeless

The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place have combined their efforts to finally bring an extreme weather shelter to Sooke.

The move comes just as Sooke descends into a period of cold and higher than average snowfall.

The shelter initiative has been under discussion at Our Place since September, when officials there became aware of the need for emergency shelter in the community.

“We understand that there are more than 100 people living outdoors, based on the point in time count, and no where for them to shelter from the weather,” said Linda McLean, Our Place’s chief operating officer.

“The problem we’ve had is finding a space for a shelter. There just didn’t seem to be anyplace available.”

RELATED: No shelter in Sooke

That’s where Mike Hicks and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area came into the picture.

Hicks, the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director, said that he became aware of the problem and felt it was time for someone to act.

“We have this 1,000-square-foot meeting space available at our Butler Road local area services building where we have washrooms and it seemed that we needed to do something,” said Hicks.

With the space made available, Our Place staff jumped into action and, since Monday, has been working out the logistics of the shelter.

“What’s going to happen is that we will send out cots to the location, but we realize that this is a large area and it could be hard for people to get to the shelter. That’s why we’re sending a van out to make it all work,” McLean said.

The Our Place van will be in the community and go to muster stations, where staff will pick up clients and transport them to the shelter.

“We’ll be picking people up around 7 p.m. and the shelter will operate between 7:30 p.m. and 7 a.m.,” McLean said.

“We’ll be bringing in hot soup, sandwiches and coffee and tea and some breakfast bag lunches that we’ll be providing to people as they leave in the morning.”

The idea, McLean added, is to provide a warm, safe place to go in extreme weather.

RELATED: Still no shelter

Hicks added that JDF has also taken the initiative to provide dog kennels at the shelter so that those homeless people who have animals will not be left out in the cold.

The move comes after the nearly two years of no shelter beds available in Sooke, although a point in time count of homeless in July indicated a need for a shelter in the community.

The Sooke Baptist Church operated a shelter until 2015, when B.C. Housing ended the initiative.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

Langford barber shop donates cuts for veterans’ cause

Hair cuts raise funds for Wounded Warrior Run, which travels from Port Hardy to Victoria

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read