Debbie Berg, executive director of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, helps prepare Duncan’s new winter shelter for women last month. (File photo)

New women’s shelter in Duncan about half full

More expected as weather worsens and women become aware of service

The 15 beds at the new winter-weather women’s shelter in Duncan are currently about half full in the evenings.

But Debbie Berg, executive director of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society that is running the shelter which opened on Dec. 20, said those numbers are expected to rise.

RELATED STORY: WINTER SHELTER FOR WOMEN EXPECTED TO OPEN THIS MONTH

She said it takes time for women who require use of the shelter to learn about it and get used to what it offers.

“We are in the process of connecting with the community and getting information out there about the shelter,” Berg said.

“We also expect more clients as more winter weather hits the Valley.”

According to a winter census completed in 2017, there are at least 65 women in the local area who are considered absolutely homeless or “precariously housed.”

Based on the homeless count data and feedback from United Way’s partner agencies, the Cowichan Coalition to Address Homelessness and Housing identified the dire need for the temporary shelter for women, now located at 2003 University Way, in a building owned by the Cowichan Valley school district.

Other proposed locations for an emergency shelter for women, including the old school building on Cairnsmore Street and one the old Charles Hoey School in Duncan, had already been rejected by the City of Duncan’s previous council, largely due to protests from neighbours.

The council in the Municipality of North Cowichan gave unanimous consent for the shelter after a packed public hearing late last year.

Berg said she has been very pleased so far with the response to individuals, groups and organizations in the Valley that have stepped up to help set up the shelter, and provide supplies to run it.

RELATED STORY: VOLUNTEERS PREPARE NEW WOMEN’S SHELTER

“The community came together in an amazing way to help with the shelter,” she said.

“Anybody who wants to provide us with clothes and other supplies can give them to their local thrift shops. We are working with the shops to help meet our needs.”

Berg said the shelter will be holding an open house in late January or early February for the community to come and have a look at what it offers.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

North Cowichan will host new permanent rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

Unhappy Nanaimo council wants action on troubled supportive housing project

Residents point to a lack of safety and security in the neighbourhood

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Hamilton, Ont. rock band the Trews performs at the Nanaimo’s Port Theatre

Group recently released first record in four years, ‘Civilianaires’

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read