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

Robert scores two as Caps double up Nanaimo

Cowichan knocks off Island rivals 4-2 on Friday night

International Guitar Night back in Duncan for incredible night of guitar showmanship

Guitarists celebrate 19 years of touring by returning to Cowichan

Former Chargers helping VIU teams to successful seasons

Groenendijk sisters team up with undefeated Mariners

‘Be Our Guest!’ say the Medford Singers, as they present two concerts

It’s Disney time in Duncan and Lake Cowichan as this enthusiastic choir sings songs from the movies

Bulldogs a big part of football bowl games

Five Cowichan Bulldogs midget football players helped Team BC to a come-from-behind win in ABC Bowl

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Most Read