The issue of Sooke’s lack of an extreme weather shelter was raised at the Dec. 10 District Council meeting. (file photo)

Still no extreme weather shelter in Sooke

Coun. Ebony Login appointed as council liaison to address the issue

Sooke’s lack of an extreme weather shelter for the homeless is “critical” and there’s “an urgent need to start thinking about a plan B,” in the wake of the failure of the Greater Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol to find a location for a shelter, says a local politician

Coun. Jeff Bateman raised the issue at the Dec. 10 council meeting after sending an email to council. His concern were prompted by Sooke News Mirror coverage of the issue.

READ MORE: Extreme weather shelter needed

Bateman introduced the issue at the meeting, but quickly turned the floor over to Jen Wilde, the regional coordinator of the GVEWP.

“We have an indication of need here in Sooke,” Wilde said.

“The people who live rough here don’t have what they need in the event of extreme weather. They don’t have parkas. If people can’t stay dry, they can’t maintain their health, and they can’t maintain their own lives.”

She stressed the emergency shelter was separate from the overall issue of sheltering the homeless and informed council her agency had funding available to help supervise an extreme weather shelter, if only a site could be located for the program.

“We (the GVEWP) operate from November to the end of March and we activate about 40 times a year,” Wilde said.

READ MORE: Shelter activated in Victoria

“This is a response so that we don’t lose them while we are trying to figure out what to do (about the broader issue),” she added.

Mayor Maja Tait spoke about the stakeholders meeting she’d attended in September and how she’d been upset with the fact that no emergency shelter existed in Sooke.

“We’re grateful to the [Sooke] Baptist church for what they have done in the past, but now the challenge is to find a suitable space moving forward,” Tait said.

The Sooke Baptist church hosted the shelter until 2015, but B.C. Housing ended the initiative after the winter of 2015-2016 by not applying to have the shelter operate the following year.

“It wasn’t reapplied for. The program operates on an annual basis and we just didn’t apply for it the next year,” Wilde said.

“We didn’t actually have anyone accessing the shelter (the year before). There were one or two people using the shelter and we assisted them individually.”

Pastor Rick Eby noted it was B.C. housing that cancelled the arrangement with the church to house the shelter.

“We didn’t pull out. It was B.C. Housing that cancelled it,” said Eby, adding that he can’t comment on why it’s been alleged by some that it was the church that cancelled the program.

He went on to say that in light of the church’s past experience, the church attended the meeting with Tait in September and was willing to talk about resuming the shelter and what it would look like.

Those discussions have not resulted in the resumption of the program.

Sooke council appointed Coun. Ebony Logins as a liaison to the GVEWP and Logins told the Sooke News Mirror that she has been in contact with Wilde and is intent on finding a way to resolve the issue.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria puppy dies after consuming poisonous mushrooms

A chocolate lab turned in to the Victoria Humane Society died Thursday morning

Volunteers needed to work the waterway at Hagan/Graham Creek

Restoration work continues on Peninsula watershed

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombudsman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of fatal bus crash

Cougar sighting reported near two Sooke schools

Sighting near Ecole Poirier Elementary and Journey Middle School

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’

Asked to comment on Justin Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ incidents

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Most Read