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

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash in Ladysmith

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup truck Friday

Caps keep pace with Wild through four games

Teams return to Wenatchee deadlocked at 2-2

Nominations open for North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame

Committee’s eventual selections will be honoured at a ceremony Nov. 16

Gallery of hockey stars

Lucky seven from the Cowichan Valley Memorial Midget C Tournament receive their awards

Caps fall to Wild in game four

Slow start, tough bounces and series is at 2-2

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Most Read