A homeless camp in Courtenay. (Vista Radio stock photo)
The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness is asking local governments for help getting more permanent housing for those who need it.
It says we are at a critical point in time in the pandemic where emergency shelter units are still needed as the weather gets cold and COVID-19 cases ramp up.
In a letter to Courtenay council, the group is asking for support for temporary and permanent housing in the immediate future.
The proposal includes the request that BC Housing work with Comox Valley local governments, like Courteney, Comox and Cumberland to provide appropriately funded (supports included) temporary emergency shelter spaces for an additional 50 people for Fall 2020/Winter 2021.
It’s also asking for 100 permanent supportive housing units in two buildings of 50 units each over 2021 and 2022.
The group says, “There is a need for a continuum of supportive housing options for a wide demographic including Indigenous people, women, couples, seniors and for those
who would prefer a facility where residents refrain from using substances.”
Courtenay Councillor Wendy Morin says this initiative is something that needs to be done, especially during a pandemic and a cold winter season.
“I’m in full support of this and I’m really hoping the rest of the local governments will sign on.”
“I know I’ve been speaking to some of the frontline workers who work with people are unhoused and with this horrendous weather lately, I can’t even imagine trying to be in a tent or something right now because the tents are being ripped and flying all over the place.”
“I’m really hopeful that we’ll get this support into the valley, especially with the COVID numbers increasing as well. There’s just a lot of health and safety issues that are amplified,” added Morin.
The Coalition says its team looks “forward to further action to ensure an immediate and long-term response to housing our community’s most vulnerable members. The time is now.”