Shelter visits up as weather deteriorates

Unitarian shelter opens early due to extreme weather

The Unitarian Weather Shelter opened its doors early this month due to extreme weather descending on the city.

The 24-bed shelter, operated by the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, opened early due to extreme weather from Nov. 4 to 6 and again on Nov. 8, and has stayed open every day since.

The shelter operates as a cold weather shelter from Nov. 15 until March 15. When it operates on extreme weather nights, it receives funding from B.C. Housing, while cold weather nights are funded through a $48,000 grant from Nanaimo’s Working Group on Homelessness.

The shelter was to operate as a cold weather shelter Nov. 15-17, but ran under extreme weather status as well. Extreme weather can include excessive rain or plummeting temperatures, and the working group decides day-to-day whether to open as extreme.

Rev. Karen Fraser Gitlitz said the number of people visiting the shelter climbed steadily since Nov. 4 – which saw four guests – and Nov. 17, when there were 22. For the past few nights visits have been hovering around the high teens to low 20s.

She said there’s been a good response from people volunteering and donating items, but the shelter can always use more.

The fellowship is currently in the process of hiring a volunteer coordinator.

“We’re so grateful for all the people who have expressed concern on how our guests are doing and want to help,” said Fraser Gitlitz. “It’s wonderful to see the compassion in our city for those who are having a difficult time.”

The shelter is seeking donations of coats, track pants and socks – especially large sizes – for people to change into when they arrive at the shelter.

Donations can be dropped off at the Volunteer Nanaimo office at 3-2350 Labieux Rd.

The Unitarian Weather Shelter is open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is located at 595 Townsite Rd.

To volunteer, donate or for more information, please call 250-755-1215 or go to www.ufon.ca.

Just Posted

Nanoose residents want court sports at their local park

Regional District of Nanaimo plans to redevelop Jack Bagley Park

UPDATE: Furry fire victims recovering in Nanaimo

Two dogs and cat recovering from smoke inhalation expected to make full recovery

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

UPDATE: One person dead after crash on Nanaimo Lakes Road

One person dies, another was injured in the accident which happened at about noon Wednesday

Conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun in Nanaimo

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area

UPDATE: One person dead after crash on Nanaimo Lakes Road

One person dies, another was injured in the accident which happened at about noon Wednesday

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

First Snuneymuxw Fight Night to be held at community gym

Eli Wyse facing Quesnel opponent in main event of boxing card Saturday, Dec. 14

GUEST COMMENT: City should stop catering to fast-food drive-thrus

Eliminate drive-thrus to improve safety and health and reduce emissions, says guest columnist

Dover Bay Secondary School drama program to stage ‘Addams Family’ musical

Production is first high school musical for teacher and some students

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read