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Comox Valley’s WeCan Shelter Society opens 10th and 11th sea can homes

Saturday afternoon was a time of celebration at Maple Pool Campground.

The sea can community within the campground expanded again, as the 10th and 11th sea can homes were unveiled.

WeCan Shelter Society co-founder Charlene Davis introduced the two newest additions to friends, family and media. She said the society is determining the resident for the 11th home. (A tenant moved into the 10th unit in February.)

“This can only happen because we have people who are looking for solutions and working toward solutions, rather than pointing fingers and (shifting the blame),” she said, during her speech. “I’ve got goosebumps. I am so happy that we are able to keep going.

“This is our chance to let the unhoused know that we see them, that they are worthy, that they are people and we know that. We are going to do our best for them and give them a chance to do their best.”

Davis spoke to the Record afterward about the importance of the WeCan Shelter Society.

“There’s never a shortage (of those in need),” said Davis. “Right now there are at least four people that are applying to be in this unit, so we will go carefully go through them and pick the best possible chance to be a success story.

“This is for people who we think can manage on their own and stand a chance of maybe bettering themselves and moving on to better things, as well as those who, this is as far as their journey will take them… and if they weren’t here, they would be contributing to the problems elsewhere.”

Joyce is the newest resident of the community. She moved into her home in February.

“It’s quiet, it’s different,” she said. “I’ve gotten to know some of the neighbours and it’s nice to have somewhere to call home.”

The society has managed to retain the $25,000-$30,000 cost per unit, thanks to corporate contributions.

“If we did not have those donations, with the rising costs of materials, we should be at $35,000 easily,” said Davis. “We do have an ongoing major contributor for all our lumber. It’s supplied through Home Hardware by Integra Housing. Bill Larson there (Integra) has just been amazing.”

Davis said the reason the WeCan Shelter Society has been so effective is the lack of bureaucracy.

“We just have a group that works hard… it isn’t tied up in committees, and surveys, and public meetings and things that prevent it from happening. And it works! The people who come here like the fact that no one is micromanaging; no one is throwing a rulebook at them. You see our vision, and no one is going to put up (roadblocks). The most they are going to do is pat you on the back and say thank you.”

Kim Hamilton has been in her unit since September of 2022 and says her life has changed.

“I’ve got a nice warm home, a roof over my head and some security as far as my tenancy is concerned; I could live the rest of my life in this canister home,” she said, adding her mental health has improved dramatically. “To have secure housing changes your mental health. And the community, these people who have done all this work over the years, they’ve become my friends. They have big hearts.”

For more information on the WeCan Shelter Society, email or call 250-871-1573.

Terry Farrell

About the Author: Terry Farrell

Terry returned to Black Press in 2014, after seven years at a daily publication in Alberta. He brings 24 years of editorial experience to Comox Valley Record...
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