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‘No one will be turned away’ from shelter, says Salvation Army captain

The Comox Valley’s homeless are being urged to come in out of the cold as overnight temperatures plunge.

Salvation Army captain, pastor Kevin Elsasser, says there is always room at the Pidcock shelter.

“The Salvation Army has 20 mats that are available for both men and women,” Elsasser said. “We would encourage them to come in from the cold, and we still have our 18 beds, as well, so that’s on top of that, plus we have six transition rooms.”

The shelter is open 24/7 so people can find refuge from the cold anytime during the day.

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Elsasser said bringing people in from the elements is a group effort.

“We’re so grateful for the RCMP who keep an eye on people and can bring them to the shelter,” he said. “We have other partners in the community, that are shuttling people towards us, as well.”

He reiterated that the shelter’s doors are always open.

“We’re strongly encouraging people to get in from the cold, and that we have room, and that no one will be turned away. We will find a place for people, and that’s how the Salvation Army gives hope today in the Comox Valley.”

Elsasser pointed out that the Salvation Army has shifted its shelter to low-barrier.

“So people can come in with their pets, people can come in with their shopping carts, we’ve put up a new shed for people to come in, and we’re just welcoming people. Low barriers, as long as people are not abusive to staff or harmful to other guests, they are welcome at the shelter.”

He said if you see someone in danger of being exposed to the potentially dangerous elements, you can contact the RCMP, the Salvation Army, or other organizations, “and we will go and have a chat with them.”

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