The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness was responsible for bringing the Cold weather shelter to this community and supplemented the funding provided by BC Housing required to operate the shelter. The coordination and activation of the shelter is volunteered by the SOS.
The Salvation Army operated the shelter from 2011 to 2015 and contributed significant additional funding. During this time, the shelter was open for an average of 48 nights per winter with more than 504 individuals in total finding shelter during the worst weather.
In 2016, the Island Crisis Care Society assumed operation of the Cold weather shelter and it is now located at 170 West Hirst Ave in Parksville (Arbutus Grove Church).
In previous years, the shelter was only open under the extreme weather protocol. Last year the shelter was open nightly from November 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, had 8 beds per night and it was open from 6pm to 7:30am. It offered the essentials of life – a bed, bedding, meals and hygiene supplies. Also, clients had the opportunity to connect with staff about available supports offered in Oceanside community.
This 2018/19 year, the Winter Shelter was open nightly from November 01, 2018 to March 31, 2019 at the Arbutus Grove Church located at 170 West Hirst Avenue in Parksville. The daily hours of operation were 6:00pm to 7:30am. The shelter is able to accommodate women and men and provides a daily hot dinner and breakfast. To access a free ride to the shelter from rural areas when in operation, call Oceanside Taxi at 250.954.8294.