Workers delivered the first wooden cabins to replace the tents at the St. Julien Street tent site for the homeless on Jan. 8. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Workers delivered the first wooden cabins to replace the tents at the St. Julien Street tent site for the homeless on Jan. 8. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Homelessness aid strategies considered at Lake Cowichan

Homelessness is indeed an issue that exists in the Town of Lake Cowichan, Mayor Bob Day confirmed at a recent Finance and Administration meeting. He said there are six identified members of the local homeless community who are receiving minimal services at this time.

“There are supports out there but we need to mobilize as a community to attract those supports,” Day said, adding Cowichan Lake Community Services seems like they’re willing to help administrate that.

“Cowichan Lake Community Services continues to serve our marginally housed population and is seeking funding to enhance the supply of their services in the future,” Day said. The mayor has been in touch with Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples to discuss their funding for portable one-room shed-like shelters, that come with a light and a heater and said perhaps there’s a way to do the same at Lake Cowichan.

“I don’t know how this council feels about attacking it but it is being discussed and will be discussed again for possible solutions. Unless we mobilize ourselves and reach out, we’re not going to get anything.”

Day said he believes the six currently homeless at the Lake are from Lake Cowichan, unlike in Duncan, where homeless people from outside the region flock to the city because that’s where the services are.

“If there’s something we can do to make their lives a little better and the funding is out there, I believe that as a community we should be reaching out and trying to assist the agencies that are trying to do it and lend them a hand as well.”

Coun. Tim McGonigle suggested bringing forward costing and further information on mobile structures to the next meeting as he is working with the Lake Cowichan RCMP’s Sgt. Watson on similar concerns within the disenfranchised community. The matter will be addressed at the next Finance and Administration Committee meeting.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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