Two Oceanside churches to serve as temporary extreme weather shelters

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As the cold weather continues on Vancouver Island, a second church will serve as a place for homeless people to stay warm overnight.

Beginning Jan. 3, a shelter at Knox United Church will be open starting at 8 p.m., seven days a week, according to Laura McLeod, communications for BC Housing. The shelter will have two staff members on site and will serve a hot meal in the evening, along with breakfast in the morning and a takeaway bag lunch. 

People wishing to stay overnight at the shelter can call Perry at 250-927-2717 to request transportation.

A shelter has been operating from Oceanside Community Church since Dec. 27 and will continue through Jan. 2, according to McLeod.

The Knox United Church shelter will remain open until Jan. 10. OHEARTS and BC Housing will continue to fund and facilitate an extreme weather/cold weather shelter in Oceanside until March 31, provided host sites can be found. 

“We are grateful for our community partners for their support,” McLeod said in an email to Oceanside News.

The provincial government is providing over 1,900 temporary shelter spaces and around 400 extreme weather response spaces to ensure people experiencing homelessness can get out of the cold and rain. 

Provincially, there are about 25 per cent more shelters and emergency response shelters than last year. The emergency shelters supplement the more than 2,250 permanent, year-round shelter spaces currently open in B.C.

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