A temporary overnight winter shelter has opened in Parksville as the city prepares for colder temperatures in the coming months.
The shelter will be open nightly from 6 p.m. to 8 am. at the Arbutus Grove Church at 170 Hirst Avenue West until March 31, 2018. There are eight spaces available.
The temporary shelter replaces the extreme-weather shelter beds that were available in the city last winter when the community issued an extreme weather alert.
“We sincerely appreciate the willingness of Arbutus Grove Church to partner with local organizations and the province to house the winter shelter for the 2017-2018 season,” Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre said in a statement. “The city also wishes to recognize the continuing work of the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness to provide a warm and safe place for those less fortunate in our community.”
The province partnered with BC Housing, the City of Parksville and the Island Crisis Care Society to open the shelter. the provincial government is providing approximately $143,000 in operating funding for the shelter.
The shelter beds in Parksville are part of around 650 winter shelter spaces and more than 800 extreme weather response shelter space available in more than 40 communities in the province.