(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

Ocean Place in Parksville unable to admit extra residents during cold snap

City resident opens up home to people in need of warm place to stay

The VIP Motel in Parksville, also known as Ocean Place, will be unable to admit extra residents temporarily during the cold and snowy weather, according to one of the managers.

Robert Tutty, who manages the facility with Oceanside Homelessness Ecumenical Advocacy Response Team Society (OHEARTS), said the agreement between the City of Parksville and BC Housing does not allow for extra occupancy.

Kelly Morris, currently on leave from her role as an employee at the VIP, said she is able to take people into her Qualicum Beach home. As of Nov. 29, she had one person staying with her.

READ MORE: Ocean Place provides haven for variety of vulnerable Parksville residents

“I have my home here. I’ve got food, hot chocolate with whipped cream, Shaw on Demand, Netflix,” said Morris.

She added that she can accommodate up to five occupants and can arrange for a ride if people need it.

Morris said if people need a warm, safe place to stay, they can reach her at 250-951-6382.

In an emailed statement, BC Housing said it is concerned for the safety of anyone who is living outdoors in cold weather, “which is why we are working with partners in Parksville and around the province to open as many shelter spaces as possible while we also continue our work to build thousands of new permanent, affordable homes. BC Housing continues to work with the operator, OHEARTS, and community partners to support VIP Motel residents to find other housing as required by the compliance agreement with the City of Parksville.”

The VIP has been operated through a partnership by OHEARTS, under the BC Housing supportive housing model, since October 2021.

@kevinf_1988_
kevin.forsyth@pqbnews.com

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