Homeless people in Parksville Qualicum Beach are without a designated cold-weather shelter. (PQB News file photo)

Homeless people in Parksville Qualicum Beach are without a designated cold-weather shelter. (PQB News file photo)

Qualicum Beach council looks to solve area’s cold-weather shelter problem

Harrison: ‘It’s likely that there will be a hard winter for a lot of folks’

The Town of Qualicum Beach is looking to work with BC Housing to create a temporary cold-weather shelter – using municipal land – for individuals with mild-to-moderate needs.

Council passed a motion presented by Coun. Scott Harrison to direct to staff to discuss the matter with BC Housing and create a report to be presented to council for feedback.

Harrison explained this winter is going to be a difficult one because of the economic uncertainty brought by COVID-19 to many people in the region.

“It’s likely that there will be a hard winter for a lot of folks,” said Harrison.

Harrison said he’d like the town to explore the possibilities of offering temporary shelter for individuals for whom they can provide assistance.

READ MORE: Campers in Parksville nature park cleared out by bylaw officials

“If we could do something for some of them, it’d be a lot better than nothing,” said Mayor Brian Wiese.

During the winter months, the cold-weather shelter issue remains a hot topic in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Some people end up tenting in municipal parks. Last month, a small group of people tenting at Mark’s Nature Park in Parksville were forced to leave the area by city bylaw officials.

Harrison said hopes the conversation between town staff and BC Housing will be fruitful and provide a solution to this ongoing problem.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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