Shelter now offers 12 beds for those in need

Nov. 1 people in need will have access to more places to spend the night in Port Hardy

Beginning Nov. 1, people in need had access to more places to spend the night.

“In the past, we’ve had only what is called an extreme weather shelter that ran from November to March and that was a 12-bed operation,” said Salvation Army. The hours of operation were 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Now we have a year-long shelter operation,” Winter said, which is called a Sobering and Assessment Program.

This facility is open from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., 365 days a year, he said.

The number of beds available between November and March are now 12, and from April to October there are six. “We’ve never had that before,” said Winter.

The extreme weather shelter (the six beds) is funded by BC Housing and the additional six beds open year round are funded by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The Sobering and Assessment Program, Winter explained, is an entry based, harm reduction philosophy.

“It’s trauma informed so the staff is trained to deal with the needs of the people that are accessing the services.”

There is also a new position in the community called a Rapid Response Nurse which is also funded by VIHA.

“They will be working alongside the program to provide clinical care, safety plans and ensure proper assessment protocols are being fulfilled,” said Winter. “It’s a great thing for the community.”

In 2014, the shelter was open 152 nights and had 624 shelter stays. In 2015, it rose to 873 – a 40 per cent.

When the extreme weather shelter closes in March, it impacts the whole community. In April, the number of individuals in cells double; and the emergency wards are flooded.

“It costs the municipality a lot of money because BC Ambulance personnel, RCMP and emergency ward staff take care of these individuals.”

When the beds were not available, there “people living on the streets, larger numbers of public intoxication, loitering, a lot of break and enters and it just was effecting the community negatively,” Winter added.

“The whole purpose of this is to offer a safe, and humane way of looking after the community with longterm goals and initiatives in place, rather than short-term solutions.”

 

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates discuss marine traffic and ocean protection

In an effort to inform the North Island-Powell River riding constituents, we… Continue reading

North Island Rising: A very powerful voter

There is another non-voter though that I would love to see back in the voting booth.

Town of Port McNeill’s financial statements are in, and the numbers might surprise you

One resident asked why CIBC bank charges (Fiscal Expense) were $15,000 higher than the previous year

OPINION: A Kayaker’s Paradise with no Kayaks

A kayak rental would greatly bolster tourism in Port Alice.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A bird and some otters

Here’s two pictures I took while out in my skiff just cruising around the inlet enjoying the weather.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read