Group urges CVRD for action on homelessness

  • Jan. 28, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

If a question on the ballot at the municipal election is any indication, then it appears the Comox Valley cares about the homeless.

In a non-binding question at the Nov. 15 election, voters were asked how much annual property tax they would be willing to pay to reduce homelessness. They were given three options: nothing, up to $5 or up to $10 for a home assessed at $300,000. The latter garnered the most votes.

“Obviously they want to see some change in this area,” Shanyn Simcoe said in a Tuesday presentation to the regional district board.

More than 10,000 voters supported the $5 or $10 option, she noted.

“These are very encouraging results.”

Simcoe is an RN and a member of the Association of Registered Nurses of B.C. — Comox Valley Network. The group is asking the CVRD to implement a tax to reduce homelessness in the Valley.

The association suggests homelessness is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), health professionals and the public.

Studies estimate costs to provide services for one homeless person are about $55,000 per year.

“The long-term solution is supportive housing,” association member Helen Boyd said. “We know improved housing leads to improved health.”

Such housing, she notes, differs from affordable or transitional housing in the sense that individuals are living at a secure place where on-site staff can engage them to address their issues.

“Obviously there’s a great need for supportive housing in the Comox Valley,” Area C director Edwin Grieve said.

He suggests the district come up with a rough figure that would be generated on an annual basis by a $5 or $10 tax.

The association recommends the following:

•Implement a housing tax;

•Proceed with the Braidwood property in Courtenay as a supportive housing initiative as quickly as possible;

•Establish a shared contingency fund or homelessness trust fund;

•Develop a five-year plan to end homelessness;

•Include homelessness and housing as standing items on CVRD, Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland council agendas.

There are an estimated 300 people in the Valley who are homeless. A further 3,000 individuals are considered to be at risk.

For more information about the Comox Valley Cares initiative, visit www.comoxvalleycares.com.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from Comox ferry staff

After Dasher made a dash, ferry staff found her and got her home safe

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A fawn stands in a field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
MARS hoping to build fawn complex for rehab

Their goal is to raise $20,000 in a relatively short period of time.

Aspen Park in Comox is the latest school reporting a COVID-19 exposure. Screenshot, Google Maps
Fifth Comox Valley school reports COVID-19 exposure

Exposure at Aspen Park in Comox was reported for Feb. 22

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Photo: Lt. Sandy Pridmore, MARS Darlene Banerd, MARS, Warren Warttig and Captain Rob Stevens show the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that will be located at the MARS facilities located at 1331 William Beach Road, Black Creek. Photo supplied
Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society adds AED to Williams Beach Road location

Submitted Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) has collaborated with the Comox Firefighters… Continue reading

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Most Read