Tag Archives: Homelessness

A New Approach to Homelessness: Housing First

As Currents recently reported, homelessness is not just “an American thing,” or “a big-city thing,” or even “a Vancouver Island thing.”  Homelessness is also here on Cortes, where a recent survey found that about 50 people rated their housing situation as “unstable,” and 11 were living rough (with no permanent shelter, in tents or other makeshift accommodation).

Although “housing” might sound like a single issue, it has has knock-on effects throughout our community.

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The Campbell River Coalition to End Homelessness Responds

(Editor’s note: While the events described in this article did not take place in the Discovery Islands, the Directors for Cortes Island and Area C both voted in the SRD Board meeting mentioned below. Also, we are part of the ‘District’ that the Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness operates in.)

Last week, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board decided to step back from involving themselves in Campbell River’s emergency shelter. They were responding to a request from the Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness. The Board considered two options: (A) they could give staff direction to explore what this would entail, or (B) they could inform the Coalition they are not prepared to take on the responsibility of operating homeless shelters. After 42 minutes of a somewhat confused debate that ended in a 7-7 vote, they chose option (B).   

Cortes Currents reached out to the Coalition for comment while writing up an account of the meeting, but neither Stefanie Hendrickson, the Coalition’s Coordinator, or Sue Moen, from the Salvation Army, were available until the afternoon of Monday, November 14, 2022. Both women responded by email. 

Continue reading The Campbell River Coalition to End Homelessness Responds

Who will look after Campbell River’s homeless population when temperatures plummet?

When temperatures plummeted to −20° last year, SRD Emergency Coordinator Shaun Koopman stepped in to make arrangements for Campbell River’s homeless population to be sheltered in the city’s community centre. The SRD intervened again last week, but at their November 9 meeting the Board decided this was a Campbell River problem.

Continue reading Who will look after Campbell River’s homeless population when temperatures plummet?

First meeting of the new SRD Board

The new Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board was sworn in on Wednesday, November 9. 

“10 of the 14 Directors on the Strathcona Regional District Board are new. There’s been a huge changeover.  You do have some folks with experience in there, but it’s a new place to work. My initial experiences  with folks is that people  are approaching this job with a really open mind, a willingness to work together, cooperative attitudes and it’s really great,” explained Mark Vonesch, the new Regional Director for Cortes Island

Continue reading First meeting of the new SRD Board

Solutions for the ‘Unsheltered’ and ‘at Risk’ crisis on Cortes and Quadra Islands

According to Linda Bernicki, Director of Rural Health and Wellness at the  Rural Development Network, “Housing is a human right and just not housing, safe and stable housing is a human right. So if I’m in housing that doesn’t have any heat or running water, then I’m denied a basic human right, and it takes all levels of government and all levels of society to work together to start to develop responses that is going to limit and homelessness.” 

Continue reading Solutions for the ‘Unsheltered’ and ‘at Risk’ crisis on Cortes and Quadra Islands