A young person sits against a wall on a bunk with an older man on his own bunk in the background.

Photo Credit: Canva

New Emergency Beds for the Valley

But what's being done to provide long-term solutions?

33 beds will help keep people off the streets… for a night

Comox is getting new beds to keep people warm in the winter.

The population of people living on the streets in the Valley has been going up and up, and the regional district is working to meet the need for safe places to sleep.

The CVRD board has approved $75,000 from the Homelessness Supports Service to be sent to the Comox Valley Transition Society to renovate the building at 685 Cliffe Ave.

The renovation will provide a new 33-bed emergency shelter for folks to use as a temporary place to sleep, along with the already established Connect Warming Centre.

“CVTS has been working closely with the city staff to identify what are the improvements required in order to enable this use, and have arrived at a dollar amount of approximately $75,000 to undertake the renovations,” Alana Mullaly, the CVRD’s general manager of planning and development, said at the inaugural meeting of the newly elected board Tuesday, November 15th.

The necessary renovations of the space include fire safety/security installation, changes to the interior access points, and the purchase of bunk beds, mattresses, and sleeping mats.

The shelter will be operating from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week, till March 31st, and the Connect day program will remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

In September, Connect had 1,756 visits, an average of 65 per day.

Which brings up the question, with so many people in need, what is the city doing to provide long-term housing and reduce demand for these emergency services?