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

Just Posted

Candidate corner: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford hopefuls talk environment and climate change

This is part one of a four-part series outlining candidates’ thoughts on key topics

Pumps at Cowichan Lake shut down

Recent rain raised water levels

Cowichan United opens season with draw

Good start to season for Div. 2 women’s soccer team

Review: ‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ offers audiences a choice, and a lot to chew on

George Bernard Shaw 19th century morality play still rings true in 2019

Catch Michael Kaeshammer at the Cowichan Theatre on Sept. 26

Vibrant virtuosity and musical excitement is the name of the game when Kaeshammer takes the stage

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read