The issue of Sooke’s lack of an extreme weather shelter was raised at the Dec. 10 District Council meeting. (file photo)

The issue of Sooke’s lack of an extreme weather shelter was raised at the Dec. 10 District Council meeting. (file photo)

Still no extreme weather shelter in Sooke

Coun. Ebony Login appointed as council liaison to address the issue

Sooke’s lack of an extreme weather shelter for the homeless is “critical” and there’s “an urgent need to start thinking about a plan B,” in the wake of the failure of the Greater Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol to find a location for a shelter, says a local politician

Coun. Jeff Bateman raised the issue at the Dec. 10 council meeting after sending an email to council. His concern were prompted by Sooke News Mirror coverage of the issue.

READ MORE: Extreme weather shelter needed

Bateman introduced the issue at the meeting, but quickly turned the floor over to Jen Wilde, the regional coordinator of the GVEWP.

“We have an indication of need here in Sooke,” Wilde said.

“The people who live rough here don’t have what they need in the event of extreme weather. They don’t have parkas. If people can’t stay dry, they can’t maintain their health, and they can’t maintain their own lives.”

She stressed the emergency shelter was separate from the overall issue of sheltering the homeless and informed council her agency had funding available to help supervise an extreme weather shelter, if only a site could be located for the program.

“We (the GVEWP) operate from November to the end of March and we activate about 40 times a year,” Wilde said.

READ MORE: Shelter activated in Victoria

“This is a response so that we don’t lose them while we are trying to figure out what to do (about the broader issue),” she added.

Mayor Maja Tait spoke about the stakeholders meeting she’d attended in September and how she’d been upset with the fact that no emergency shelter existed in Sooke.

“We’re grateful to the [Sooke] Baptist church for what they have done in the past, but now the challenge is to find a suitable space moving forward,” Tait said.

The Sooke Baptist church hosted the shelter until 2015, but B.C. Housing ended the initiative after the winter of 2015-2016 by not applying to have the shelter operate the following year.

“It wasn’t reapplied for. The program operates on an annual basis and we just didn’t apply for it the next year,” Wilde said.

“We didn’t actually have anyone accessing the shelter (the year before). There were one or two people using the shelter and we assisted them individually.”

Pastor Rick Eby noted it was B.C. housing that cancelled the arrangement with the church to house the shelter.

“We didn’t pull out. It was B.C. Housing that cancelled it,” said Eby, adding that he can’t comment on why it’s been alleged by some that it was the church that cancelled the program.

He went on to say that in light of the church’s past experience, the church attended the meeting with Tait in September and was willing to talk about resuming the shelter and what it would look like.

Those discussions have not resulted in the resumption of the program.

Sooke council appointed Coun. Ebony Logins as a liaison to the GVEWP and Logins told the Sooke News Mirror that she has been in contact with Wilde and is intent on finding a way to resolve the issue.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stood at 6.3 per cent in May 2021, nearly unchanged from April’s rate of 6.2 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stagnates at 6.3 per cent in May

Latest figures reflect conditions before lifting of public health measures

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

North Saanich council Monday will consider the results of a survey conducted by the North Saanich Residents Association that finds little support for increased densification. (Black Press Media File)
Survey finds little support for increased density in North Saanich

North Saanich Residents Association conducted the online survey

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read