Nearly 400 people helped by warming centres, majority under age of 40
A man walks along Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay during a snowfall. Photo: Vista Radio, Staff
Hundreds of people were helped by warming centres during the recent cold snap that saw temperatures drop well below freezing.
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) says more than 370 visitors were helped between Dec. 26 and Jan. 12. They say a majority of the visitors were under the age of 40, with 65 per cent identifying as male.
The district says many of the visitors were residents of the valley and employed locally, but couldn’t find a permanent, safe and secure living space.
The Comox Valley Extreme Weather Warming Centre originally opened from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2 at the CVRD’s Civic Room but was given more funding from Emergency Management BC when more cold weather was forecast. The warming centre also changed locations to the Salvation Army Cornerstone location and Church during the cold snap.
The CVRD is thanking residents and outreach workers along with local businesses for helping during the holiday season.
“Having trained outreach and peer support workers within a facility of this nature is essential as they are qualified to provide care,” explained Howie Siemens, Manager of Emergency Programs.
“None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the local business community members who offered in-kind donations of fresh food, last-minute essential supplies and services.”