The Comox Valley Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has approved $55,000 in funding to help local groups deliver their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EOC includes representatives from the Comox Valley Regional District, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox and Village of Cumberland have

The province awarded grant funds to the district in November 2020, to assist local operations impacted by COVID-19. 

Through the EOC, community needs and priorities were identified, with specific attention on vulnerable populations’ most basic needs, including emergency housing and access to basic facilities. 

The recommendation and assignment of funds was presented to the EOC and approved Feb. 18 for distribution to the following groups.

  • Care-a-Van has had a 500 percent increase in people using the service since the start of the pandemic. It’s getting $10,000 to continue to provide nutritional supports, water, hygiene products, and clothing within the community.
  • The Connect Warming Centre has had a significant increase in demand for services since last year. It’s getting $25,000 for personal protective equipment, supporting increased sanitation and cleaning requirements, and providing hot meals, survival gear as well as living supports to residents.
  • Hornby Island Athletic Association is the only community facility on Hornby Island that provides a safe place to wash and have a meal. The $20,000 it’s getting will ensure the hot meal program continues, shower facilities updates are completed, and increased cleaning supplies and requirements are adhered to.

“The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but for those without a safe and stable home of their own, it has exacerbated many of the challenges they already faced in their daily lives,” explains CVRD Board Chair and EOC spokesperson Jesse Ketler. 

“A warm meal and shower, safe place to sleep, clean clothes and proper sanitation are essentials many of us take for granted. These necessities of life have been highlighted even more during the pandemic and we are thrilled to be able to help support local community organizations who day in and day out are helping deliver these services to our residents.” 

You’re encouraged to follow the CVRD social media channels @comoxvalleyrd on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visiting the CVRD website for up-to-date information. 

All Comox Valley local governments are centralizing regional COVID-19 information through these channels.

The EOC is standing by to support the lead agencies, Ministry of Health and Island Health, if requested at the federal and provincial level. 

According to the district, the Emergency Operations team with representatives from the CVRD, City of Courtenay, K’ómoks First Nation, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, and other external agencies and organizations “are working together to collaborate on response measures and best practices for the region.”