With the winter rains and cold weather on the horizon there are people in Sooke who have to choose between paying their hydro bill of buying food. There are others who do not have warm winter clothing. It’s a sad situation and it is getting worse for those who have the most basic of needs.
The Sooke Crisis and Referral Centre on Church Road is a place where people go for help. It may be for a little food to tide them over until they get paid, or it may be a place to go for morning coffee and a small snack.
“There is an increase in need in the past year,” said Liz Johnson, a volunteer at the centre. “It’s really different than it used to be, the prices have gone up and the income has not. Sometimes it’s the hydro bill or groceries.”
At this time of year there is a special need for warm winter coats, toques, scarves, gloves and especially socks. Johnson said many needy folks get their feet wet and they have no where to wash or dry their socks, they just change them.
“Socks are a huge thing,” she said.
Another need for those homeless in our community is for sleeping bags and blankets. Johnson said there is “always a need for those.”
The crisis centre serves a need in the community and at minimum 20 to 30 people come every day for help. Some come by the centre for companionship and coffee, while others come for emergency groceries. The shelves at the centre are not laden heavily with goods and they give what they can, often soup or beans.
“We always need food, canned goods and we always need money,” said Johnson.
The crisis centre accepts donations at 2043 Church Road. For more information on hours call 250-642-0215.