While the COVID19 pandemic has brought many services throughout the Cowichan Valley to a screeching halt, the issue of homelessness continues.

The City of Duncan, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Province, and other community partners have finished up the draft overview of a 30-day emergency response plan around homelessness.

The City and the Cowichan Housing Association have been collaborating on a plan that has three phases; a 30-day emergency response plan, one for 90 days, and a post-COVID19 response.

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said the plan could go a number of ways and many questions still need to be answered.

Staples said, “There’s a plan with many options, looking at what the most viable options are and how will it roll out?”

She added that the plan also focuses on, “looking at the supports that we need to pull together in a pretty short time frame.”

Staples said there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to this plan.

“It’s a very strong draft overview including a peer-review of people who are experiencing homelessness and we are there at the moment,” said Staples.

Staples said, “In a couple of days we’ll be putting together budgets, we’ll be putting together all the location pieces and all the needs we have, and we’ll be working with the Province, Island Health, and community partners to begin the implementation process.”

The plan will be submitted to the province and be distributed to a number of ministries.