In early December, North Cowichan council granted a temporary use permit to the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society to set up a winter warming shelter next to a daycare.
In the last four months, 52 women used the service and the warming centre average 13 women a night, and CWAV’s Executive Director Debbie Berg said it was a slow start.
“It started out slow, we didn’t have as many women as we thought we would right away,” said Berg. “I think that was due to building trust and familiarity with the women.”
CWAV is looking to have its temporary use permit amended to make a year-round service a reality and Berg said despite a lot of public concern around the shelter’s close proximity to a daycare, there haven’t been any issues.
“We haven’t heard of any issues, at the same time we have stayed in close contact with Wendy’s House and any minor issues that have come up, we’ve made sure that we’re dealing with them together, right away,” said Berg.
Berg said both BC Housing and School District 79 are in support of this extension.
While the permit is set to expire on March 31, active enforcement is unlikely because CWAV’s application is in the stream and North Cowichan council will look at it soon.