Extreme weather shelter being readied in Courtenay

The extreme weather shelter in the Comox Valley will be active again during periods of severe weather this winter.

The extreme weather shelter in the Comox Valley will be active again during periods of severe weather this 2011 – 2012 winter season.

In times of severe weather and when the local shelter has reached capacity, the extreme weather shelter will open. This shelter offers a chance for the homeless population to get in out of the cold during some life-threatening weather conditions.

These weather conditions include excessive cold, driving rain which makes it impossible for a person to dry out, high winds, and/or snow accumulation. Other conditions which pose a threat to the health and safety of the homeless will also be considered.

The shelter is located at Northgate Foursquare Church (on Burgess Road, near the food bank) and is in addition to the Salvation Army emergency shelter.

All clients will be directed to go to the Salvation Army shelter when the extreme weather shelter reaches capacity. Transportation will be available to take them to the second shelter.

When the second site is open, its hours will be 8 p.m. to  8 a.m., and it will be staffed during all open hours. The shelter will have 30 mats available for those in need.

Local agencies that service and have contact with members of the homeless community are kept informed on the status of the shelter through a website at www.comoxvalleyewp.com.

“We have seen the need for the extreme weather shelter in past years and we are truly thankful that we can offer this service to the community once again this year,” Lorrie Cox, the Salvation Army’s shelter manager.

The extreme weather shelter has been made possible by a partnership with BC Housing, AHERO committee members, Northgate Foursquare Church, RCMP and the City of Courtenay.

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