Extreme weather shelter update

The Oceanside Extreme Weather Response Shelter has been open more than a dozen times already this winter, but they still need to spread the word in the community.

"There's been someone there all except one night," said Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness co-chair Renate Sutherland, but there's often just one person, or sometimes two.

A survey last year found 38 homeless people in District 69, including five children, but people looking for shelter have cited issues like not wanting to leave their regular sleeping spot for an occasional shelter.

The shelter, in the Salvation Army Church across from the Parksville firehall, is only open when extreme weather alerts are issued by the task force — based on provincial guidelines and weather forecasts.

"We come into the office every day, including weekends and try to make the call by 10 a.m.," she said.

She points out it has been open a number of times this winter due mostly to the wind chill, which they include in their criteria of opening on nights forecast to be colder than -2 C.

When the weather meets the criteria, which includes rain or snow, they issue an alert under the provincial Assistance to Shelter Act.

Bright pink notices go up in strategic locations and the RCMP and other partners and service providers (BC Ambulance, governments, churches etc.) are notified and point people towards the shelter. Police and taxi companies will also give anyone a free ride.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Coun. Gord Fuller remains in critical condition after heart attack
Pregnant woman, child in crash with Delta Police car
Vernon RCMP seek person of interest in connection with 2014 theft from ATM
ICBC blocking record 25,000 drivers for Port Mann toll evasion
B.C. hockey league has enough of angry parents
Target to close all stores in Canada, including 19 in B.C.
Rescuing The River
Shelter, meal providers see huge demand
Couple learns to cope with PTSD