Cold-weather shelter solution needed

I’m writing regarding the Parksville winter shelter.

This service was going to be located in the new Orca Place, where there is a purpose-built area offering separate areas for men and women, showers, hot meals, and trained 24/7 staff. Our city council paid $700,000 of taxpayer money to remove the shelter from this building, leaving its future in jeopardy.

Looking at Vancouver Island, there are cold-weather or year-round emergency shelters in Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Courtenay, Campbell River, Duncan, Victoria – even Sooke and Saltspring Island provide this life-saving service for residents.

I’m appalled that the elected officials of Parksville-Qualicum are refusing to offer help to the most vulnerable people of our community. Those who made and support this decision need to look around at their comfortable and safe homes and lives, and ask themselves what kind of person allows fellow humans to suffer.

On average in Canada, 1% of our population is homeless. In District 69, that would mean up to 500 citizens homeless or at risk each year. Downloading this responsibility onto local churches and volunteers is patently unfair. It is too late to buy and build on another appropriately-zoned site. Moving the location amongst churches throughout the district will lead to confusion and likely increase illness and deaths.

I’d like to hear what elected councils and mayors are willing to do to address this gap. As the weather worsens, we need a solution now.

Stephanie Peter


Just Posted

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

REVIEW: ‘Grace and Glorie’ a moving tale of death and friendship

Two women convey characters convincingly and with humour

Jordie Lunn, world-renowned mountain biker from Parksville, dies in accident

The 36-year-old was with friends trail riding in Cabo San Lucas when the accident happened

Island man restores 1962 Qualicum Beach fire truck he bought for $1

Vintage vehicle in working order and ready to hit the road

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Most Read