With temperatures dropping and windstorms battering the island, the province has introduced new shelter beds across BC, according to an announcement released on Friday.
60 new beds are now available on Vancouver Island, with 10 opening up in Ladysmith, 15 being added to Duncan, and 35 in Nanaimo.
“The new shelters and housing solutions are a result of partnerships with municipalities and non-profits to help ease pressure on communities where existing shelters are running at or over capacity,” reads the announcement.
An extreme weather response shelter in Ladysmith is now opening its doors every night, and provides 10 beds. It will be operated by the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association.
Meanwhile, the 15 shelter beds coming to Duncan are being operated by the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, and will only be available for women. The new shelter is the sole women-only shelter in the Cowichan valley.
The largest new shelter coming to Vancouver Island is located in Nanaimo. It offers 35 beds and is being run by the Nanaimo Women’s Resource Society. The beds are there to supplement three other Nanaimo shelters that are all operating at or above capacity each night.
In total, 173 beds opened across the province, with additional funding and supplies being sent to many community shelters.
According to the ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, more temporary shelters and extreme weather shelters may be added throughout the season as needed.
For a full list of provincial homeless shelters in BC, look here.