The Comox Rotary Club and Dawn to Dawn: Action on Homelessness Society unveiled the third shipping container home at Maple Pool Campground in Courtenay, Sunday afternoon.
“This is the third of four units – number four is on order,” said outgoing Comox Rotary Club president Charlene Davis.
Comox Rotary is responsible for the building of the units. Once they are completed, they are given directly to Dawn to Dawn.
Dawn to Dawn outreach worker Grant Shilling matches the units with tenants. He said that decision is made on a case-by-case basis, and that some tenants use the container homes as a step towards something bigger, while others use them as a permanent residence. Once a person has been matched with a container home, that home is theirs for as long as they need it.
“Container homes are ideal for people who have spent a lot of time outside, are not acclimatized to being domesticated, but want to be part of a community, which Maple Pool [is],” he said. “I really have to give a shout out to (Maple Pool Campground owners) Jin and Dali Lin, who are really the patron saints of all this.”
Sunday’s home was dedicated as Stan’s Place, in honour of Stan Gaskarth.
“Stan has been instrumental in getting all three units so far up to scratch,” said Davis. “He has a whole pile of mechanical and technical ability, and he has been outstanding at getting our units done. All the things that would have cost us a fortune… he’s just come in and done, and he’s been perfect.”
The short unveiling and dedication presentation was also a chance for Comox Rotary Club and Dawn to Dawn to thank all the volunteers and companies that have had a hand in the construction, set up, and furnishing of the unit. The unit comes complete with a shaded deck, as well as a ramp, as the occupant uses a mobility scooter.
A fourth unit is expected to be in place this summer.
Shilling said the current project is part of a bigger vision.
“There’s no shortage of need – we could use 10 times the amount of homes we have, and Charlene and I have a grand plan where we are hoping to make an intentional community of container homes,” he said. “These three containers, and the fourth on its way, is a demonstration that we are able to do this.
“At some point… hopefully we would like to see this (Maple Pool) become a dedicated container home community. The Lins are open to one day selling their property, but they want to make sure that everybody here is looked after. That’s where we come in.
“Talk minus action equals zero, but it’s been a blessing working with all these guys who make it happen.”