Thirteen-year-old advocates with Courtenay council for homeless shelter

Rachael Jancowski, 13, told Courtenay council Monday that the city needs a new homeless shelter.

RACHAEL JANCOWSKI

“We need a new homeless shelter.”

Thirteen-year-old Lake Trail Middle School student Rachael Jancowski told Courtenay council she came to this conclusion after talking to various community members who help the Comox Valley’s homeless.

During her presentation to council Monday, Jancowski said she believes the Salvation Army’s Pidcock House Emergency Shelter isn’t enough to shelter the Valley’s homeless.

“Fourteen to 15 people come to the Pidcock House daily; there is not enough room,” she said pointing out there are 14 beds at the emergency shelter.

“On a weekly basis, they have to turn people away.”

She also noted 270-plus people are homeless in the Valley.

Jancowski started investigating homelessness in the Comox Valley as part of an I Can project for school. She said the project turned into a non-profit organization, which she’s dubbed Gimme Shelter.

She noted a need for more transitional housing, community awareness, medical care, education and support for homeless people during her presentation, besides a need for a new homeless shelter.

“We are lacking transitional housing,” she said. “We need a new homeless shelter. Now, if a new homeless shelter is a real possibility where should it go? There is a lot of NIMBY — Not In My Back Yard.”

She later pointed to some simple ways anyone in the community can help homeless people.

“We need to raise awareness about the homeless; we need to reach out and help,” she said. “We can donate warm clothes and blankets, we can bake cookies or muffins and go downtown and give the homeless a treat. We can volunteer at the soup kitchen. We, as a community, can give them hope.”

Although she noted there are volunteer caseworkers — which is a person who works to helps homeless get a permanent home and job — she pointed out there is only one permanent caseworker in the community.

Jancowski plans to help homeless people this spring through volunteer work, and she plans to contact other non-profit organizations about the issue.

She also said council should expect to hear from her again soon on the matter.

Couns. Ronna-Rae Leonard and Bill Anglin commended Jancowski on having the courage to present in council chambers, and Anglin noted she is not only talking about the issue but taking action as well.

Mayor Larry Jangula also thanked Jancowski for her presentation, noting he agrees community support in the form of food, blankets and clothing can go a long way to helping the Comox Valley’s homeless.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Annual women’s march in Courtenay Saturday

The Women’s March was a worldwide protest on Jan. 21, 2017, to… Continue reading

Portables arrive for students on Hornby Island

Five portable classrooms have officially arrived on Hornby Island this week in… Continue reading

Cumberland multi-use development given the go-ahead despite parking concerns

Rideout Construction will pay $91,200 in lieu of 24 parking stalls

Union Bay police standoff ends peacefully

A police standoff in Union Bay was resolved peacefully Monday evening. According… Continue reading

First North Island College Artist Talk Series of 2019 features Barb Hunt

Internationally renown Canadian artist speaks at Stan Hagen Theatre

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Jan. 15, 2019

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Jan. 15, 2019… Continue reading

North Cowichan will host national rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Tom Lavin and the Powder Blues Band among acts to perform at Comox Valley’s Winterfest

Participating hotels offering half-price “ski & stay” packages

Most Read