New emergency shelter opening at Nanaimo church

35-bed shelter for men and women to open this weekend at St. Peter’s Church

With winter weeks away, there will be more emergency shelter beds to try to help people in Nanaimo come in from the cold.

The Nanaimo Women’s Centre announced today that it is partnering with St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, B.C. Housing and other agencies to open a new winter shelter with 35 beds for men and women experiencing homelessness.

The initiative is beginning immediately, with 15 beds to be available Dec. 1.

Lesley Clarke, executive director of Nanaimo Women’s Resources Society, said the project hasn’t been in the works very long.

“It’s part of a community-wide effort to make sure that we have enough spaces for people to get in out of the weather,” she said, adding that Dec. 1 was a targeted date. “It’s a very short timeline for us. Everybody has just dropped everything to make this happen, but we want to make sure that we’re responding to the need.”

The project is funded by the provincial government through B.C. Housing, according to a press release from the women’s centre. The shelter will be set up in the church’s basement which Clarke said will work well as a space. She said the church has “been stellar” in its co-operation on the project.

“They have worked with us to make everything possible,” she said. “They really have put a huge amount of energy and goodwill behind this.”

Those being sheltered will get a bed and an evening meal. Breakfasts will be off-site through a partnership with the 7-10 Club. Clarke said the shelter will have separated areas for men and women.

“We’ll have things like books and games and things for people to occupy themselves with. And the people won’t be all crammed together because it’s a really big space,” she said.

Tenancy support workers and Nanaimo Citizen Advocacy will provide related services.

“We want to ensure that the shelter will be an asset to the surrounding neighbourhood, and that our guests conduct themselves respectfully so that this service is a success for the church, our guests and the wider community,” said Sue Carlson of Nanaimo Citizen Advocacy in the press release.

Clarke said her team knocked on doors in the immediate area around the church and received a positive respons, donations of items and other offers to help.

“I feel really proud of how Nanaimo has stepped up to support the effort and I’m looking forward to everybody kind of getting behind this and making sure that everybody in the community has a place to be over the winter,” she said.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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

Uplands Park Elementary parents say schools not appropriate voting stations

Elections B.C. says site of polling stations not yet determined, working with Dr. Henry’s office

Nanaimo RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway

Nanaimo RCMP seize firearms, ID, portable debit machine as ‘prolific offender’ arrested

Austin Carlson-McPherson, 24, accused of crimes in Nanaimo, Duncan, Port Renfrew and Sooke

Snuneymuxw artist brings aquatic designs to Nanaimo’s Beban Park pool

Work by artist Eliot White-Hill is being installed at the pool this month

Event was virtual, recognition was real at Nanaimo Business Awards

Online event praised Nanaimo businesses and organizations for excellence in 21 award categories

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 23

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Three years for serial bank robber who hit southern Vancouver Island branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read