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

Sports Wall of Fame inducts Class of 2019

Patrick Kay, Brian McKinlay, Ted Webb, curling’s Craigs and the Fuller Lake Flyers are honoured

Dive team searching for missing Cowichan fisherman

Bill Court said family and friends are actively engaged in the search

Support group helps Cowichan Valley families living with dementia

No one should have to experience the dementia journey alone.

Local RCMP detachments looking to cut costs

Provincial RCMP budget facing a $10-million deficit

UPDATED: Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Bidders down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Little progress in preventing sudden infant deaths since last report: BC Coroner

Coroners panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

B.C. woman suing after laser hair removal leaves her with ‘severe’ burns, scarring

Nadeau felt ‘far more pain’ than usual during the treatment

$2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

The new owners saw most of their farm ruined just as they took possession

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

Most Read