People in need of shelter will be picked up at
the Salvation Army Church at 5 p.m.
The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness is pleased to announce that the cold weather shelter, which is funded by BC Housing, will be open every night from December 19, 2019, to March 31, 2020. Society of Organized Services (SOS) has entered into an agreement with BC Housing and will administer the shelter on behalf of the Task Force.
A permanent shelter space was originally included in the new Orca Place supportive housing project that opened on Corfield Street this summer; however, Parksville City Council later objected to the use of the purpose-built space as a shelter, and it was removed. The Task Force has been actively searching for a new location and is grateful for the efforts of local churches who have come together to support those most vulnerable in our community. The churches, under the new banner OHEART (Oceanside Homelessness Ecumenical Advocacy Response Team), will operate the shelter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.
The eight-bed shelter will be at a different church location each night, with a central pick-up at 5:00 pm at The Salvation Army Church, 187 Alberni Highway, Parksville. Operated and staffed by OHEART, the shelter will provide cots, blankets, pillows, an evening meal and breakfast, and drop-off back at a central location.
Since 2011, the Task Force has coordinated the winter shelter, which originally was an Extreme Weather Shelter, and since 2017 has operated as a Cold Weather Shelter open nightly from November 1 to March 31. In the winter of 2018/19, the shelter hosted 52 unique individuals for a total 990 stays over the five months.
The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness was formed in 2010, with representation from provincial and municipal governments, and many organizations and service providers in the Oceanside region. The Task Force is co-chaired by Violet Hayes, Executive Director of Island Crisis Care Society, Sharon Welch, Executive Director of Forward House Community Society, and Susanna Newton, Executive Director of Society of Organized Services.
For more information:
Susanna Newton, Co-Chair
Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness
c/o Society of Organized Services
Tel: 250-248-2093 ext. 226