Adria Vorghesan, manager of the women’s shelter on University Way, makes up one of the new 15 beds that the shelter has purchased for its clients. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Women’s shelter in Duncan celebrates first anniversary with new beds

Turkey dinner planned for Christmas Day

The Cowichan Valley’s woman’s shelter on University Way celebrated its first anniversary on Dec. 20 with new mattresses and a birthday cake.

Fifteen brand new beds were recently purchased to replace the camping cots the clients have been using for the past year.

Shelter manager Adria Vorghesan said the cots were so narrow that women couldn’t even roll over at night.

“We just set up the new beds this morning,” she said on Dec. 20.

“It will be a big surprise for our clients when they come here this evening.”


Vorghesan said the new beds cost approximately $5,000, with most of the funding coming from donations from the community.

She said it’s hoped that the United Way Central Vancouver Island will also step in to cover some of the costs of the beds.

“The community has been great to us in so many ways,” she said.

“We’ve also had bags of groceries donated to us and that helps us keep our costs down. We’re planning a turkey dinner here on Christmas Day. We’re also fortunate that people have been generous with donations of winter clothing for our clients.”

This shelter, which is located in a converted concession stand owned by the Cowichan Valley school district, was first used as a temporary winter-weather shelter for woman and had a permit to operate from the Municipality of North Cowichan and funding from BC Housing to last until March 31, 2019.


But, in recognition of the need for a year-round shelter for women in the Valley, the funding and operating permit has been extended to at least Dec. 6, 2021.

Debbie Berg, the shelter’s executive director, remembers the shelter’s opening well.

“One year ago, we opened our doors in the dark, during ‘the big wind storm’, with a lovingly renovated concession building and camping cots,” she said.

“Since then we have served over 200 unique women and are currently full most nights. We continue to provide showers, clothing, laundry, storage and two meals a day. We say a big thank you to all who support us through money, time and practical donations. May you all experience moments of joy and love during the holiday season.”

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

100 years of adventure for Duncan’s Sylvia Peecock

After a century of life, understandably, Sylvia Peecock’s brain sometimes needs a… Continue reading

Soccer draws a mixed bag for Cowichan teams

LMG aims for Jackson Cup, masters teams will meet in play-in game

$12K grant has Nourish Cowichan teaching cooking skills

Nourish has regularly provided healthy, nutritious food to several local elementary schools

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Vancouver Island man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car impounded after Port Alberni driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Most Read