As winter draws near, the Comox Valley Regional District says they are proposing its Comox Valley Visitor Information Centre as a warming centre option.
In mid-October, the regional district and municipal governments put out a joint statement, asking for extreme weather shelter locations as they do not have one for this year.
CVRD Board chair Will Cole-Hamilton says the district looked through their properties and decided the best available option they can provide is the Visitor Information Centre off Highway 19.
“It was put forward to the Coalition to End Homelessness as a possibility to consider,” said Cole-Hamilton. “In the end it will be the coalition and their service provider who are going to be making the calls on which location they believe are the best ones to serve the need.”
Cole-Hamilton says from there, the coalition will need to work with BC Housing to determine if it passes criteria to be used as an option.
According to the call from October, that includes having a 1,500 square foot minimum, being able to accommodate 20 to 40 people and have two washrooms. It will also require fire department approval.
Cole-Hamilton adds that while the coalition will have to decide on what the site’s pros and cons are, it is a considerable distance from downtown Courtenay and Comox at nearly seven kilometres from Courtenay.
He adds that solutions could be found, but it will be up to the coalition as they go through potential sites.
The most recent Point-in-Time count revealed a 106 per cent increase in homelessness in the Comox Valley since 2020, with over 200 people identified as homeless.