The City of Duncan is considering helping to set up a daytime warming centre in the field houses at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The City of Duncan is considering helping to set up a daytime warming centre in the field houses at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

City of Duncan asked to help homeless with warming station at McAdam Park as weather turns colder

City considers setting up daytime warming centre at McAdams Park

With the cold weather in full swing, the City of Duncan has been asked to help establish a daytime warming centre for the homeless in the field houses at McAdam Park.

The United Way’s Melaina Patenaude, who is also a member of the Cowichan Coalition to Address Homelessness and Affordable Housing, said in a letter to council that the coalition’s ultimate goal is to establish safe, affordable and supportive housing for everyone in need in the Cowichan Valley.

“But we recognize it will take time to gain that objective,” Patenaude said.

“In the interim, we must house or otherwise support those who are living without a shelter, and it is our hope that the City of Duncan will help meet this end.”

Duncan Mayor Phil Kent said that after reading the letter, council voted unanimously at its meeting on Nov. 20 to ask staff to prepare a report on the financial and community impacts of establishing a warming station at McAdam Park.

Patenaude said the coalition’s latest homeless count found almost 90 people living outside of shelter in the Valley.

She said a similar figure was estimated in February, 2016, when the Warmland Shelter was at capacity.

FOR RELATED STORY, CLICK HERE

“Community members caught out-of-doors in the winter need, at minimum, a place to warm up, shower and get a cup of something hot to drink,” she said.

“Laundry facilities are important as well. One such model is in Nanaimo. With a combination of provincial and health-care funding, Harris House provides supported daytime drop-in space serving citizens who are without a place to take the chill out of their bones and shelter from the cold. We believe similar funding could be found for Duncan, given a suitable location.”

Patenaude said the field houses at McAdam Park, which have change rooms and shower facilities, were made available for this purpose in the past and, given the support of the province, it could be done again.

“If council provides the space, heat, hot water and janitorial services, or some part of them, we are confident the province can be convinced to support, supervise, and supply them with whatever is necessary to keep our community members warm and clean this winter,” she said.

“The space would, of course, be operated as a warming station outside of any hours required by sporting teams (at McAdam Park), although that need appears to be minimal from mid-November to February of most years.”

Kent said he expects the staff report will be prepared by about mid-December, and council might call for a special meeting for it to be tabled as the next scheduled council session where it can be presented won’t occur for many weeks.

“We have done this before [at McAdam Park] but we need to consult with the community to let people know this is being considered and get input before we make any decisions,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Most Read