The following is the first in a series of articles to be published on behalf of the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, prior to the Nov. 28 referendum.
Everyone deserves a place to call home. The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness is working hard to plan, co-ordinate, recommend and implement community responses to homelessness.
The Coalition is in its infancy, yet in the six months since its inception it has advanced the issue of homelessness in our community by leaps and bounds. It is committed to being action-orientated and focused on impacts on people who are homeless, at risk of being homeless and the community as a whole. We have a passion mixed with a growing impatience to see the plight of our homeless population addressed in a tangible manner.
To this end, the Coalition is in the process of determining a set of action priorities for the next five years and plans to co-ordinate efforts to achieve those priorities in conjunction with all of the community partners and all levels of government. In a period of six weeks over the summer, with more than 60 hours of volunteer time and the input of 37 participants, a five-year plan was drafted for the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD). This was done at the request of the CVRD as they discussed plans to create a new regional Homelessness Support Service. The subsequent years of the plan will be expanded upon in the months to come.
Coalition members are often asked what is different this time around? It may be attributed to the participants themselves who are primarily leaders of non-profit agencies that work directly on the frontline with both individuals who are homeless and those at-risk of homelessness. Member agencies of the Coalition include: AIDS Vancouver Island, CV Network –Association of Registered Nurses of BC, Comox Bay Care Society Care-A-Van, CV Recovery Centre, CV Transition Society, Dawn to Dawn, Lions Club Comox, Lush Valley Food Action Society; Wachiay Friendship Centre, St. George’s United Church, Eureka Support Society, United Way, St. Joseph’s Hospital, CV Social Planning Society, and Habitat for Humanity.
Please visit the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness website at cvhousing.ca to see the five-year plan. Together we can make sure our fellow community members have a place to call home.