Shelter to be open 24/7 in Comox Valley.

by British Columbia
Categories: Feature

An agreement has been made between The Province and The Salvation Army to keep The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter in Courtenay open round-the-clock. The shelter, on Pidcock Avenue, was a night-only facility up until last winter.

Since, BC Housing has agreed to provide funds for it to stay open during the daytime after Courtenay City Council voted to allow for extended hours.

Yesterday, BC Housing announced funds to cover staffing and other costs associated with daytime opening had been found to cover the next nine months until March 31, 2013.  Two-thirds of it will come from the province and one-third from The Salvation Army.

Shared The Salvation Army’s Community Services Director for the Comox Valley, Brent Hobden, “we offered to cover the costs of daytime opening to ensure continuity of services,” said Hobden.  The money would need to be found from sales of items at the Salvation Army’s three local Thrift stores, donations from the community, the Christmas kettle campaign, and other similar local fundraising.  Hobden offered public thanks to the individuals, societies, agencies and local governments that had written to B.C. Housing or the housing minister to voice their support for ongoing funding.

The Salvation Army’s Divisional Commander for BC, Major Larry Martin, said he was “thrilled” at the outcome only days before the shelter’s doors were set to close once more during the daytime. The agreement ensured the Salvation Army was not only able to provide a safe and stable shelter day and night, “but also the gateway services individuals need to overcome the barriers they face and to experience long term positive change.” He added: “We see this as an opportunity to continue to serve and provide hope to all those who need it most in our communities regardless of time or day.”