Campbell River singer/songwriter Justine Collins is putting on a benefit for the Salvation Army’s Extreme Weather Shelter on Nov. 13 at Quinsam Centre.

Justine strumming up support for shelter

Nineteen-year-old Justine Collins is putting on a benefit concert with all proceeds going to the Extreme Weather Shelter in Campbell River

Listen to a young local musician and support a good cause at the same time.

Nineteen-year-old Justine Collins is putting on a benefit concert with all proceeds going to the Extreme Weather Shelter in Campbell River on Sun. Nov. 13.

“I just thought it was such a great place, but really nobody knows about this one, so I thought that it’d be a great opportunity to give back to the community and to raise some awareness about it,” said Collins.

The shelter is staffed by the Salvation Army and is low barrier, meaning it doesn’t have as strict of guidelines for use as other shelters, such as the Evergreen Shelter’s stipulation that guests are sober.

“It means pretty much anyone can stay there, they don’t necessarily have to be sober,” said Salvation Army community ministries director Kevin Mack. “As long as people are not posing a risk to themselves or others then they won’t be turned away, no one will be turned away.”

Located in the Lighthouse Centre, the shelter is opened when weather is considered extreme, and conditions are assessed daily based on ambient temperature, wind velocity and precipitation.

The fundraiser will be at the Quinsam Centre at 2005 Eagle Dr. off Willis Road. Doors open at 6 p.m., with music starting at 6:30 and going until 8:30 or 9 p.m.

Collins is a singer/songwriter who plays guitar. She will play some of her original songs, which she says have a pop/country feel. And progressive acoustic rock group Fiftieth Parallel will also perform.

Baked goods and coffee will be available, and there will be a silent auction, with proceeds going to the shelter. Donated items will be placed on tables around the room for people to bid on.

Massages and pedicures from Merle Norman Cosmetics and Day Spa, and merchandise from Stonehouse Teas, Intersport, PartyLite and Zudora Jewelry are among the items up for auction.

“You can go peek at (auction items) whenever, and you can bid while you’re listening,” said Collins. “It’s just going to be a really relaxed night, just to listen to some good music and hopefully get some prizes.”

Although the Extreme Weather Shelter is funded by B.C. Housing, Mack said the extra funding is needed.

“Being a non-profit we rely heavily on community support,” said Mack. “We do get government funding yes, but there are also other costs to running these programs that people might not necessarily be aware of so that’s where a benefit like this will really help offset some of those extra costs for us.”

The shelter gives out things like pajamas, toiletries and basic food items.

RCMP Sgt. Craig Massey is on the shelter committee, and has seen first-hand the deadly impact winters can have on the homeless.

“Loss of human is always tragic and difficult to deal with but loss of human life when it’s preventable is a greater stark reminder of just how needless that is,” said Massey. The people who run the shelters “make a real difference day in and day out in terms of the general health and welfare of some of our less fortunate residents.”

Collins has been performing since she was four, and has decided to go for a career as a musician. She is working on an album, titled Chasing Cinderella, which she plans to release in April.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for students and $12 for adults.

They can be picked up at Something Special Gifts, Serious Coffee, and the Java Mon Concession at Timberline and North Island College. Or contact Collins at justine.lcc@live.com.

Collins said there are still many tickets available, and hopes to have a sold out show.

“We’re hoping to get a lot more (ticket sales) once the publicity is more out there and people know about it more,” said Collins. “Hopefully it’ll be a good night.”

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