OUR VIEW: Hicks and Our Place deserve our thanks

A deal is struck for an emergency extreme weather shelter in Sooke

Back in December the Sooke News Mirror ruffled a few feathers when we gave you the story about the lack of an extreme weather shelter in Sooke.

The story evoked a blizzard of responses, but unfortunately most of those comments tended to centre on who was to blame for the situation.

You’ll recall that the Sooke Baptist Church had hosted the service, but B.C. Housing chose to discontinue the shelter, saying that it didn’t have enough use to justify its continuation.

RELATED: Extreme weather shelter opens

Let’s be clear – that was not the church’s fault.

What was apparent, though, was that a shelter was desperately needed and that we were heading into our third year without extreme weather help for the community’s most vulnerable – the homeless.

Those charged with the responsibility to deal with the situation seemed ineffective in getting a shelter back. Anywhere.

Enter Mike Hicks, the good people at Our Place, and in the Juan de Fuca.

Hicks, the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director, saw the situation, and, never being shy about tackling problems head on, asked why the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area building couldn’t be used. The building has a 1,000-square-foot meeting room, its warm and dry and has a couple of bathrooms.

Our Place stepped up to staff the site and provide the necessary mats, equipment, food, and its usual compassion.

And when the location of the shelter was questioned (it’s a long walk from downtown Sooke), Our Place took the initiative to address the situation with a shuttle service.

It was a simple and elegant solution.

The necessary paperwork took a week to complete and the shelter opened to the homeless Friday night, just before what might have been a killing snowstorm and a period of frigid weather.

Our Place coordinator, Linda McLean, sent us some photos of the shelter on the night it opened and one of them featured Hicks trying out one of the sleeping mats, with a big grin on his face.

That picture summed it up. Hicks saw a problem, imagined a solution and made it happen. He also was there to welcome the clients of the shelter on an evening when most of us were seeking the shelter of our own homes. He got down on the ground and tried out the mats in a gesture that said, “We’re all the same.”

Both Hicks and Our Place deserve credit and our thanks. They probably saved some lives, and that’s not a small thing.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Emerging Sooke filmmaker takes spotlight with special award

Mary Galloway creates her own opportunities

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Police make arrest in Sooke home invasion

Gregory Brotherston, 38, facing numerous charges

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read