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Connect Warming Centre reopens in downtown Courtenay

Service that supports individuals experiencing homelessness had closed for a month
The Connect Warming Centre has reopened Monday to Wednesday at 685 Cliffe Ave. File photo

The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness is ecstatic to announce that the Connect Warming Centre has reopened in downtown Courtenay.

The Comox Valley Transition Society — a member agency of the coalition — has been operating the centre at 685 Cliffe Ave. for more than two years. It supports individuals who are experiencing homelessness. The daytime portion of the service had closed for the past month.

READ: Courtenay warming centre closes during the day

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said staff and council have been working on the issue since the middle of January when they realized a temporary closure was around the corner.

“We knew there there was going to be a bit of a gap, but as soon as we realized that we got staff working on it. Here we are, we’re back up and running,” Wells said. “From the city’s perspective, it’s an absolutely critical service that’s being provided to our community. They’ve (CVTS) been a great partner using one of our city-owned buildings. We know that the work they do has had an immense impact. During the closure, we certainly heard from our community how it was missed. We’re absolutely thrilled to have it back up and running again, and looking to improve services for the future.”

“This is a much needed service here in the Comox Valley and we are happy to see them open,” said Nikki Morrison of Community Cares Peer Outreach. “Hopefully when they fill their staffing requirements they will extend their hours. When our community works together to fulfil the needs of this vulnerable population, is when we see positive changes happen.”

To start, Connect will re-open Monday to Wednesday from 8-11:30 a.m. and from 1-6 p.m. More hours are expected to be added at a later date. As well, the Lewis Centre shower program will continue from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Wells said the city will continue to work with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, BC Housing, Island Health and other agencies to ensure services are offered locally.

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