Extreme weather shelter made available to Cowichan’s homeless

30-bed facility likely to remain open until spring

The extreme weather shelter — open daily from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at the Si’em’ Lelum Gymnasium — has a 30-bed capacity. (Cowichan Tribes photo)

The extreme weather shelter — open daily from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at the Si’em’ Lelum Gymnasium — has a 30-bed capacity. (Cowichan Tribes photo)

An extreme weather shelter will be available to those in need beginning Friday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m.

The shelter — open daily from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at the Si’em’ Lelum Gymnasium — is made possible by Cowichan Tribes, in concert with the CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch and BC Housing.

“For so many, homelessness is not a choice but working together in the spirit of caring and kindness is,” said CMHA executive director Lise Haddock. “As the cold weather approaches, it’s wonderful to know that people will be warm, safe and secure. Thank you Cowichan Nation for opening the doors of your respected house Si’em’ Lelum to provide much needed shelter.”

The shelter — for adults (19-plus) only — will be run by CMHA staff and able to house 30 people each night. It will offer services such as beds with linens, hot meals, showers, laundry access, and support services. The length of stay can range from one night, to longer depending on the needs of the client and is expected to remain open until the weather warms up in the spring.

According to a news release announcing the shelter’s opening, “BC Housing provides funding for the establishment of temporary Extreme Weather Shelter beds for anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness.”

The extreme weather shelter also aims to alleviate some of the pressure on Warmland House on Lewis Street.

“People who stay at emergency shelters can be diverse, with a range of needs and abilities. Staff will require appropriate behaviour, but this shelter will reduce barriers to ensure the most vulnerable people are brought inside and connected to support services,” said the release.

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SEE SIMILAR: New extreme weather shelter opens on River Road in Duncan

cowichan valleySevere weather