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Snow alert prompts shelter activation

Three days after establishing an Extreme Weather Response Shelter in Parksville, the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness activated the shelter Thursday night.

Following the Assistance to Shelter Act, the weather alert was issued for the Oceanside region, which activates the authorities to open the shelter at the Salvation Army Church, 187 Alberni Highway, and allows police to assist persons at risk due to extreme weather conditions.

The extreme weather alert was issued due to a forecast for 10 cm of snow, lows of -4 C and highs of 1 C. It will remain in effect until it is cancelled, but the shelter is open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and will be reassessed each morning as long as the cold weather lasts.

Parksville director of communications Debbie Tardiff said they have put a lot of work into establishing the shelter but this is the first chance to actual activate it and see how many people use the service and what works or needs to be fine tuned.

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