The City of Campbell River will be providing an overnight warming centre in December when nights reach freezing or below.
During a Special Council meeting on November 30, council authorized the City of Campbell River to provide an overnight warming center during December on evenings when the forecast is freezing or below, according to Environment Canada. When temperatures reach this threshold, staff will look to set up a warming centre at the Campbell River Community Centre, 401 11 Avenue, between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., provided that staff, security and volunteers are available and that there are no major events or bookings scheduled onsite.
When temperatures reach -4c or below, funding for a warming centre may be provided by Emergency Management BC (EMBC). Funding will be made available from the City’s Council Contingency fund on nights when EMBC funding is not available but the temperature drops to freezing or below.
In response to the low overnight temperatures forecast for Thursday, December 1, the city and Campbell River Coalition to End Homelessness are activating a warming centre at the Community Centre.
The centre will be activated at 10 p.m. on the evening of December 1 and run to 7 a.m. on December 2, 2022. The warming centre will be staffed with individuals who have experience working with people experiencing homelessness to ensure support is available to those attending the centre and accessing this service.
Funding for the centre is provided by the Province through Emergency Management BC and the City of Campbell River, as temperatures tonight are forecast to reach -5c.
“People experiencing homelessness and living outside during winter need a safe and warm space to rest overnight,” says Kermit Dahl, city mayor. “While Campbell River community organizations are working to prepare other options, there is a need for an interim location. As a community, we must show empathy and compassion and support all our residents during cold weather events.”
Groups with private bookings will be contacted if the warming centre will affect programming, and the city will notify the public on the city’s website and social media channels ahead of the centre opening.