UPDATED: Cowichan Valley board of education give the green light to winter weather women’s shelter

UPDATED: Cowichan Valley board of education give the green light to winter weather women’s shelter

North Cowichan approval still needed

After more than a year of trying to find a solution to the ongoing issue, the Cowichan Valley School District’s board of education has approved, in principal, the short-term lease of a vacant public building for a cold weather women’s shelter.

SEE RELATED: Women’s emergency shelter being considered

If approved by the Municipality of North Cowichan the old concession building at Cowichan Place (beside Wendy’s House) will become Cowichan Women Against Violence Society’s women’s winter weather response shelter.

“As a strong member within our community, the board of education of the Cowichan Valley School District recognizes that the challenges facing our community require collaborative response,” said board chair Candace Spilsbury. “We acknowledge that these are difficult decisions that require compromise, understanding, patience, and good will.”

Other proposed locations for an emergency shelter for women, including the old school building on Cairnsmore and one at McAdam Park, have already been quashed by protest from neighbours.

READ MORE: Women’s shelter not going ahead in Duncan

READ MORE: Duncan denies emergency shelter for women on Cairnsmore Street

The decision to lease the facility from November of this year until March 31, 2019 came after significant deliberation and more approvals are still necessary to make the facility a reality.

CWAV needs to get a temporary use permit for a land use that is not currently captured under North Cowichan’s municipal zoning. North Cowichan will address that issue Nov. 21 at it’s regular council meeting.

“CWAV has been working hard last winter and this winter to find a solution for homeless women and we hope this time to be successful,” said CWAV executive director Debbie Berg. “It will be up to local government and communities to decide about shelter this year.”

Conscious of the potential for concerned parents, Spilsbury issued a letter to Wendy’s House (a preschool activity centre located immediately beside the proposed shelter) users.

“We recognize that the dedicated users of the Strong Start at Wendy’s House may be confused by this decision, as the old concession stand is a neighbour of Wendy’s House,” Spilsbury wrote. “We know what a special place Wendy’s is…and we can assure you the decision to approve the lease in principle was not taken lightly.”

Spilsbury noted in the letter that there would be no overlapping hours between the two facilities and there would be 24-hour staff coverage at the shelter on the Wendy’s House operating days. Moreover, CWAV has made the commitment to have shelter staff inspect and remove any refuse, within a 50-foot radius of the concession building and Wendy’s House.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Vancouver Island prison

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

Most Read