Community

Care-A-Van has identified a need

CARE-A-VAN DRIVER ALLAN Morrison helps Michael D. with warm clothing. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
CARE-A-VAN DRIVER ALLAN Morrison helps Michael D. with warm clothing.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

Respect, dignity, warmth, shelter, health — these aren’t the items that you would find on a typical Christmas wish list.

These words shouldn’t express wishes at all. These words describe basic human need.

There are people in our own community who find these basic human needs out of reach. Homelessness lives right here in our community.

Comox Bay Care Society was created to address the needs of the homeless population in the Comox Valley. The Care-A-Van is a mobile medical clinic that offers health-care services to those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in the Comox Valley.

A total of 33 volunteers — 14 nurses, three doctors, three dentists, two pharmacists and one optometrist donate their professional skills side by side with a group of dedicated volunteer outreach drivers. Over 650 individuals have been cared for aboard the Care-A-Van to date.

There is immense value in giving a face to homelessness in our community. Photographer Karen McKinnon of McKinnon Photography is working together with this compassionate group of volunteers to help bring an element of realism to the issue of homelessness in the Comox Valley.

Homelessness isn’t a glamorous issue — but it is a very real and worthy issue; there is worth in every life. It is an issue that touches the lives of a very vulnerable population.

All people have a story, a history, a past and it is important to embrace the opportunity to offer a hand towards a future to those who need it most.

The Comox Bay Care Society’s Care-A-Van has identified a need and they are indeed a non-profit in action. The Comox Bay Care Society is working hard in our community to promote positive changes in the lives of those who are homeless.

“These people are our sisters and our brothers. The right thing to do is to help them reclaim their lives and their autonomy," says Helen Boyd, co-ordinator of the Care-A-Van program.

"There is so much left to be done in regards to the issue of homelessness in our community. Photography is a strong medium that bares witness in a very privileged manner to our universal need to be seen and heard. We are very grateful to Karen for her gift to us.”

For more, visit www.comoxbaycare.org.

— Comox Bay Care Society

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