To the Editor,
Re: Shelter a good compromise, Opinion, Oct. 16.
I appreciate your comments about how challenging survival is for people without a permanent residence at this time of year, and would like to remind you of the facilities currently providing services for homeless individuals in our community.
Island Crisis Care Society has operated Samaritan House continuously as a homeless shelter since 1989. When the Nanaimo Salvation Army opened the New Hope Centre in 2007, representatives from the province, the city, the health authority and the community met to discuss the best way to provide shelter services in Nanaimo.
They decided Samaritan House would change to a women-only facility and the New Hope Centre would shelter men. Both shelters are 24-hour facilities and offer case management to clients to help them with their plans for the future. We make referrals to many different agencies in town who offer a lot of services.
Samaritan House is an old Victorian-style building, and with 20 low-barrier emergency beds and four transitional suites, it is very cramped. We recently purchased an empty lot next door and are in the planning stages for a new facility that will better meet the needs of the women we serve.
On Nov. 16 between 2-5 p.m., there is an open house at the shelter, 355 Nicol St., so the community can see what we are hoping to do and give input. The society also has several crisis stabilization houses and I invite you to check out our website at www.iccare.ca.