Thw We Can Shelter project received a major financial boost this week, thanks to 40 Knots Winery.
The We Can Shelter project repurposes shipping containers into housing units, which are then placed at Maple Pool Campground.
The project is the driving force behind the We Can Shelter Society. Originally, the project was managed through the Comox Rotary Club, however, it has now become an entity and non-profit society of its own.
On Monday, June 14, 40 Knots Winery presented the We Can Shelter project with a $5,000 cheque – the first instalment on what will ultimately be the purchase of an entire We Can Shelter unit. Each We Can Shelter Unit costs between $20,000 and $25,000.
“This support (from 40 Knots) is huge,” said We Can Shelter Society secretary Sue Finneron. “They have committed to pay for a whole unit, and they will donate $5,000 at every Wine Club pick-up night for the next year, which is fantastic.”
“We deeply respect and appreciate Dawn to Dawn’s work in our community, and the We can Shelter Project,” said 40 Knots Winery co-owner, Brenda Hetman-Craig. “These homes are making a big difference for our most vulnerable victims living on our streets.”
The cheque presentation was made at the latest Wine Club pick-up night.
“We wanted to make the cheque presentation at our Wine Club pick-up night,” said 40 Knots co-owner Layne Robert Craig. “We felt it was important that our Wine Club members were witness to how their support of our business makes a difference in our community.”
The We Can Shelter project is essentially a community within itself, at Maple Pool Campground – a facility on Headquarters Road that also provides space for those who would otherwise be homeless. Tenancy for the We Can Shelter Project is based on need.
“Right now, we are looking at people who are already at Maple Pool and who are in the worst-case scenario as far as the trailers are concerned,” said Finneron. “We are trying to put them in a place that isn’t mouldy, isn’t leaking, and that has a toilet and a shower – trying to upgrade their lives.”
There are already five housing units in place and tenanted at the site.
“What we would love to see is eventually the whole (Maple Pool Campground) become a We Can Shelter community,” said Finneron. “Jin and Dali Lin (Maple Pool Campground owners) have also donated $500 for every unit we build. They are amazing people.”
Finneron said there’s still plenty of room at the campground for additional units.
“On the road we are putting them in, there is probably room for at least 20. So we have a couple of years’ work ahead of us.”
The Comox Rotary Club financed the first four shelters and Bobbie and Frank Denton funded the fifth unit.
The sixth unit should be completed this summer, and the framework is already set for the seventh and eighth units.
“Charmaine (We Can Shelter Society president) got her hands on a 40-footer (shipping container), so we are cutting it in two, to build the next two after this one,” said Finneron. “Now we just have to raise the money to make it happen.”
For more information on the We Can Shelter Society, visit the society’s Facebook page, facebook.com/WeCanShelter
–With files from 40 Knots Winery