New shelter opens for homeless youth

NANAIMO – Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre offers roof, hot drinks at Haliburton Street.

Homeless youth, looking for refuge from frigid temperatures, can find a bed and hot drink at Tillicum Lelum’s Haliburton Street health centre.

Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre has opened a 12-bed cold and wet weather shelter, with city-funding supporting the service.

Nanaimo city council moved to find a solution to shelter youth from the cold earlier this month after hearing some were sleeping outdoors. It also agreed to spend up to $75,000 on beds this season.

A city staff report says there’s about 10-15 youth on the streets without access to shelter and clear evidence the current youth shelter is not sufficient to address the population of young people who do not have a home.

Most of the time, the youth safe house on Tenth Street is full and has a wait list, said Tillicum Lelum executive director Grace Elliott-Nielsen.

The new cold weather shelter opened Dec. 16 with one person using it as of Wednesday.

“Right now it’s not being used to the capacity, but who knows what’s going to happen, especially over the holidays because some kids then end up there because of drugs and abuse in the home,” Elliott-Nielsen said.

The city’s partners have been terrific about coming forward and making the shelter happen, according to city social planner John Horn, who said with all the money in the world the City of Nanaimo is not able to run such a thing, especially with a two-week turn around.

Horn said the main thing is youth are out of the cold and safe from predators and then the hope is if Tillicum Lelum does have youth coming in they are not seeing anywhere else, they can draw them to services and connect with them.

The shelter at 602 Haliburton St. is open from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. with light snacks and hot drinks available.

Just Posted

Nanaimo council grants development permit for 170 apartments near Long Lake

Concerns raised over traffic around Rutherford Road

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

RCMP investigating suspicious fire at Nanaimo apartment building

Early morning fire ignited under balcony at building on Glen Eagle Crescent

House fire displaces family of five in Nanaimo

Dog and cat still unaccounted for following house fire on East Wellington Road on Monday

POLL: How often do you see motorists throw cigarette butts out the window?

How often do you see motorists throw lit cigarette butts out the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Island community

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s ‘Infidelity Hotlist’

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

Most Read