Signy Madden, executive director of the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island, said the search will go on for a location for an extreme weather shelter for women in the Valley. (File photo)

Search continues for location for women’s shelter

Charles Hoey school no longer an option

The search will continue for a location for an extreme weather shelter for women in the Cowichan Valley.

Signy Madden, executive director of the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island, said BC Housing is still interested in providing the funding for the shelter this winter if an alternative location is found.

She said the Cowichan Coalition for Homelessness and Affordable Housing is looking for another location after the option of using the closed Charles Hoey School in Duncan for a shelter was taken away.

Madden said an alternative site has yet to be identified, but it likely won’t be in Duncan.

“There are still some cold months ahead of us this winter and we have a key interest in helping people on the streets,” she said.

“But we’ve learned some lessons from our efforts to place the shelter in the school. Communication with the neighbourhood where it will be placed is key. If people have issues with the shelter, then we would address those concerns earlier in the process.”

Plans to use Charles Hoey school for the shelter were scuttled after the City of Duncan changed its zoning bylaws at a special council meeting on Jan. 16 to state that homeless shelters are not allowed in residential areas.


The city was responding to a backlash from the neighbourhood about the shelter proposal for the school.

Many of the neighbours had also expressed concerns about an earlier, but abandoned, effort to set up a daytime warming centre for the homeless in McAdam Park, which is adjacent to Charles Hoey school.

Signy said whatever location is chosen for the shelter, the public should be aware that it would only serve a small number of people, it would only be open for a short time period, from February to the end of March, and it will only be open when there is extreme weather and not every night.

She said the coalition didn’t meet with the neighbours of Charles Hoey school before news of the shelter was made public because the funding wasn’t in place at that time.

“We had planned to host a meeting with the neighbours when the funding was finally secured,” Madden said.

“There are people living on the streets during the winter and we were moving quickly to try to deal with that. But we’ve learned our lesson. We have many other initiatives planned for the Cowichan Valley and we will address any concerns with them.”

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

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

RCMP there for the public during COVID-19 crisis, says B.C.’s assistant commissioner

Dwyane McDonald said the RCMP are working closely with local governments and health officials

T.W. Paterson column: Friendly card game led to fatal shooting in Nanaimo

The final witness, Dr. L.T. Davis, refused to give testimony until he was paid in advance

Cowichan Valley team using 3D printing to quadruple ventilator capacity

Hopes are high that project will help solve global ventilator shortage during pandemic

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read