(Pixabay)

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place bring extreme weather shelter to Sooke

Move comes after years of no shelter for the community’s homeless

The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place have combined their efforts to finally bring an extreme weather shelter to Sooke.

The move comes just as Sooke descends into a period of cold and higher than average snowfall.

The shelter initiative has been under discussion at Our Place since September, when officials there became aware of the need for emergency shelter in the community.

“We understand that there are more than 100 people living outdoors, based on the point in time count, and no where for them to shelter from the weather,” said Linda McLean, Our Place’s chief operating officer.

“The problem we’ve had is finding a space for a shelter. There just didn’t seem to be anyplace available.”

RELATED: No shelter in Sooke

That’s where Mike Hicks and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area came into the picture.

Hicks, the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director, said that he became aware of the problem and felt it was time for someone to act.

“We have this 1,000-square-foot meeting space available at our Butler Road local area services building where we have washrooms and it seemed that we needed to do something,” said Hicks.

With the space made available, Our Place staff jumped into action and, since Monday, has been working out the logistics of the shelter.

“What’s going to happen is that we will send out cots to the location, but we realize that this is a large area and it could be hard for people to get to the shelter. That’s why we’re sending a van out to make it all work,” McLean said.

The Our Place van will be in the community and go to muster stations, where staff will pick up clients and transport them to the shelter.

“We’ll be picking people up around 7 p.m. and the shelter will operate between 7:30 p.m. and 7 a.m.,” McLean said.

“We’ll be bringing in hot soup, sandwiches and coffee and tea and some breakfast bag lunches that we’ll be providing to people as they leave in the morning.”

The idea, McLean added, is to provide a warm, safe place to go in extreme weather.

RELATED: Still no shelter

Hicks added that JDF has also taken the initiative to provide dog kennels at the shelter so that those homeless people who have animals will not be left out in the cold.

The move comes after the nearly two years of no shelter beds available in Sooke, although a point in time count of homeless in July indicated a need for a shelter in the community.

The Sooke Baptist Church operated a shelter until 2015, when B.C. Housing ended the initiative.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

Funnyman coming to the West Shore

Comedy and television staple Billy Gardell performs at Elements Casino

Police-run Youth for Change and Inclusion camp bids fond farewell to tireless directors

Founder Sgt. Paul Brookes has run camp empowering youth and creating leaders for 16 years

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read