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 hotel tax set to go up

Hospitality association lays out five-year plan for tourism in Nanaimo

Tour de Rock ready to start making its way down Vancouver Island

Tour de Rock takes place Sept. 21 to Oct. 4

Public meeting will explore ideas to battle addiction and crime in Nanaimo

Organizers call for treatment centres, accountability for crimes, citizens’ task force

VIU students empowered to ‘shift the vote’ this election

VIU Students’ Union, B.C. Federation of Students launch ‘Our Time is Now’ campaign

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates ‘disappointed’ with prime minister over blackface

Situation a ‘nightmare’ for Trudeau and the Liberals, says VIU professor

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 19

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

Nanaimo athletes earn gold, silver, bronze at 55-Plus B.C. Games

Huge contingent of local participants competed in largest-ever 55-Plus B.C. Games in Kelowna

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Most Read