Continued freezing temperatures have provided the Comox Valley Emergency Program additional funding from Emergency Management BC to activate a temporary Extreme Weather Warming Centre in the basement of the Salvation Army Church 1580 Fitzgerald Ave, Courtenay. The facility is wheelchair accessible.
This centre is preparing to be activated January 5 until January 11 from 9 pm to 8 am, with planning already started to determine another location if a warming centre continues to be required. The centre will be staffed with the appropriate personnel to ensure all Provincial COVID measures announced on January 4 are adhered to and address everyone’s personal safety.
The first principle of the BC Emergency Management System is to Ensure the Health and Safety of all Volunteers and First Responders. The second principle is to Save Lives which is what an Extreme Weather Warming Centre seeks to accomplish. Access to a warm and dry space could be the difference between life and death for those who are under housed and for people experiencing homelessness during extreme weather.
To date, the Extreme Weather Warming Centre Outreach Team provided services to 178 people over nine nights, 124 at the Harmston location and 54 at Salvation Army Cornerstone location. Warming centre clientele ranged in age, with 106 visitors identifying as male and 72 as female. The majority of clientele grew up here, some are employed locally and are unable to find a permanent safe place to live.
The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.
Manager of Emergency Programs