Sleeping cabins for the homeless have been a temporary solution to a long-time problem in the Cowichan Valley. (File photo)

Sleeping cabins for the homeless have been a temporary solution to a long-time problem in the Cowichan Valley. (File photo)

No sleeping cabins coming for Lake Cowichan’s homeless

Wrap around services don’t exist, says mayor

Lake Cowichan council has opted not to take advantage of up to six sleeping cabins that had been earmarked for the town’s homeless population at this time, according to Mayor Bob Day.

“The reason being is that the community does not have enough wrap around services to offer those that would be temporarily housed in these units,” he explained. “These services would need to be provided and funded by other agencies from outside the municipality.”

Quite simply, said the mayor, “the municipality and Cowichan Lake Community Services do not have the funding or human capacity to take on a project such as this at this time.”

That’s not to say it’s not an important issue to the community, he noted. The next step is to identify the service gaps and the funding sources and then implement those enhanced services. All that needs to occur before the town considers temporarily housing unsheltered residents.

“This is not as simple as many would think,” Day noted. “We have residents that would benefit from temporary housing but this comes at a cost when it comes to doing it safely. These sleeping cabins are not a long term solution to homelessness. Potential residents would require varying degrees of assistance to help them achieve permanent housing.”

Now, the six sleeping cabins and accompanying washroom unit will “most likely” be deployed where there are existing services close by to assist the residents.

“In the meantime,” said the mayor, “the existing services provided through Cowichan Lake Community Services and other community partners will continue as the community advocates for enhanced services.”

homeless housingLake Cowichan