Notice has been given by North Cowichan’s council at its meeting on April 3 that it will consider a bylaw amendment to extend the temporary-use permit of the Cowichan Valley’s winter-weather women’s shelter so it can operate for a full year.
The decision was unanimous and with no discussion, and approval of the amendment could be considered as soon as the council meeting on April 17.
The 15-bed shelter, which opened in December, had permits and funding to operate only until March 31, 2019.
But BC Housing, which is funding the shelter, located at 2003 University Way in North Cowichan, has agreed to provide funding for at least another full year, until March 31, 2020.
Even though the shelter is currently operating beyond the time limit its permit allows, a statement from North Cowichan said “enforcement is unlikely until council considers the temporary-use permit amendment application.”
Under the shelter’s current temporary-use permit, issued by the municipality last year, the facility was allowed to open nightly between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. until March 31, 2019.
But, recognizing the need for a year-round shelter for women in the area, the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, which operates the shelter, and other advocates have been working hard to make it a reality.