Lilli House overflowing, some female clients sent to hotels

The Lilli House shelter reached capacity for most of the past month, which meant some women had to be accommodated in motels.

The Lilli House shelter reached capacity for most of the past month, prompting the Comox Valley Transition Society to accommodate a number of women in motels.

The situation is a sign of the times when shelters and food banks are servicing a greater number of clients, some of whom might not fit the perceived profile of a homeless person, the CVTS program co-ordinator said in an interview.

“I think when people think about the homeless, the image that comes to mind is somewhat down-and-out guys mostly,” Anne Davis said. “But it’s a far more diverse population than that, and women and kids tend to be overlooked in that equation, and seniors. We’ve certainly seen a lot of older women.”

Another group is middle class women who have left an abusive relationship, Davis added. Such women live in poverty if their case is tied up in court for years before reaching a property settlement.

Davis said a diverse cross-section of people means a variety of housing solutions are needed in the Comox Valley.

“It’s going to take diverse solutions as well,” said Davis, who credits Dali and Jin Lin for providing affordable rent at the Maple Pool Campsite in Courtenay.

However, she said an RV is not an option for women and children who are leaving Lilli House. Neither is an apartment, which is appropriate for some members of the homeless population but not for women who have had a lifetime of trauma because this type of program depends on roommates.

“They really need their own space, and also it does nothing to increase the supply of housing, which is what we’re desperately short on here. To house people in apartments will meet the immediate need of some people but it won’t increase the housing stock,” Davis said.

“Transition Society really wants to move forward on housing for women and children who are leaving Lilli House. It’s called second-stage housing, and it typically involves a number of supports. And typically they can live there for a couple of years.”

Davis applauds a proposal from L’Arche Comox Valley, which has asked the regional district for grant money to help construct duplex apartments to house people with developmental disabilities at property it owns on Grieve Avenue in Courtenay.

A significant portion of homeless individuals have some sort of mental impairment.

The CVRD board is in the process of deciding how to disburse a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Island Health Authority. The money is intended to provide for community capacity to address homeless issues and to support healthy communities in the Valley.

A select committee has directed district staff to draft a Request for Proposal that seeks a subsidized, housing approach scattered throughout the community with supports for homeless individuals.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Sarah Rebitt named the Vanier recipient of the Governor General’s Award

Sarah Rebitt was named the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Award… Continue reading

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dead following crash on Strathcona Parkway

A 29 year old man has died following a motorcycle crash on… Continue reading

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Bylaw rescinded after vacation rental owners express concerns

Concerns included a lack of consultation

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018… Continue reading

VIDEO: a close-up look at what you were breathing during the wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

Most Read