The Comox Valley Extreme Weather Response has been activated, meaning those seeking shelter from the elements can find refuge at the Pidcock shelter in Courtenay.
Emergency shelter is available nightly at 7:30 p.m. while the EWR is in effect. The shelter is located at 632 Pidcock Ave.
The idea behind EWR is to help homeless individuals stay dry and warm during extreme weather, which threatens their well-being.
From Nov. 1 to the end of March, 20 cold weather beds (mats) are available, 14 for men and six for women. The Salvation Army has received money from the provincial government to add five beds this season.
“BC Housing pitched in again big time to help us open these EWR beds right through to the end of March,” said community ministries director Brent Hobden, referring to shelter renovation funding from BC Housing.
The Extreme Weather Shelter depends on staff and volunteers to run smoothly each night. If interested in being part of the team, contact the Salvation Army at (250)-338-2533.
The Sally Ann launches its annual Kettle campaign at the tree lighting ceremony, Friday in downtown Courtenay. This year’s goal is to raise $140,000.
There will be 13 kettles dispersed throughout the Comox Valley from Nov. 29 — Dec. 24. Kettle volunteers will be ringing bells from about 10 a.m. — 8 p.m. during that time.
“We’re looking for two-hour shifts to fill all of those days,” Hobden said. “It takes an army of volunteers to fill in all of those holes, and we’re very, very short on volunteers this year.”
This season, two kettle locations will have debit machines.
“That’s a constant problem, is people just don’t carry cash any more. If that’s something they want to do, then they can stop by at Wal-Mart or at Superstore and check out our new debit machines.”
Interested kettle volunteers can call (250) 338-6200 for more information.