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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read