If the gallery seems a little crowded at City Hall in Duncan Monday, it’s probably because of a ruling on a temporary use permit.

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society has submitted a temporary use permit application for a 15-bed Emergency Winter Response Shelter that would run from November through March.

C-WAV Executive Director Jane Sterk says this is unprecedented territory for the society.

“We’ve never been involved in shelter work, we do have a transition house, but that’s for women and children who are fleeing violence, where there’s an extended stay,” said Sterk. “A shelter is to get women out of the rain and miserable weather that we have during the winter.”

Sterk explains how the decision to apply for this permit came up.

“This came out of the point-in-time counts in 2017, which identified a number of homeless women,” said Sterk. “It was just one of many strategies to try and address the homelessness issues in the Cowichan Valley and we were asked if we would be the operator.”

While C-WAV is the operator, this is a community initiative involving Social Planning Cowichan, United Way, and the Duncan United Church.

Council will make a decision on the application at the regular meeting tonight at City Hall, starting at 6 pm.