Members of Cowichan Tribes who are needing to self-isolate due to COVID-19 will now have more safe spaces to do so with the creation of new isolation units.
The six new self-contained units were built from a $648,000 grant from the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to help provide a safe space for members to isolate who are unable to do so at home due to challenging living conditions such as overcrowding.
The open-concept units are each approximately 163 square feet and include a bed, kitchenette, washroom and covered front porch.
“Knowing the importance of nature in the healing process, these units are nestled amongst trees, away from noise and distractions,” explains Health Director Marnie Elliott. “Our project team worked hard to keep the vegetation on site and provide a calming environment.”
Any individual members who enter isolation will receive a food hamper and other supports while occupying the unit.
“The units also provide a safe space for youth transitioning out of care who have nowhere to go,” says Elliott. “With many youths feeling unsupported and alone once they age out of care, our goal is to have the youth know they’re an important part of the community. They are loved and we are here to support them.”
Once the pandemic is less of a concern, these units will be fully operated by Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem, and will be used to provide healing spaces.