Need Shelter Now? Raising the Roof

Care-A-Van now run by Comox Bay Care Society

A new society aimed at improving the lives of people in the region has emerged.

The Comox Bay Care Society (CBCS) has concluded the initial portion of the long and lengthy process of establishing itself as a new society.

The name was one of many written on a large piece of paper hanging on the wall of Sunwest Auto Centre, and was chosen as the society members believe it reflects the aims and objects of the society to care for those in our community who find it difficult to care for themselves.

The Care-A-Van has been providing services to the homeless since the spring of 2009. Since Day One, these services have been instigated, organized and co-ordinated by Helen Boyd, a local nurse and mental health therapist.

Helen first approached Barry Willis of Sunwest RV with the idea of building a mobile medical unit. Her enthusiasm infected Barry, who found a suitable van, and then the whole staff at Sunwest who worked late nights and weekends on their own time modifying the van into a mobile clinic.

Helen’s enthusiasm then quickly led to an outpouring of support from health care professionals including nurses, doctors, dentists, social workers, and optometrists, who staff the van and take “care” to where it is needed on a regular basis. It is these professionals who actually provide the care — they are the indispensable backbone of the operation.

The society is pleased that Helen will remain as co-ordinator and continue to facilitate the program. The Care-A-Van initially operated under the umbrella of Dawn to Dawn, a local association dedicated to housing the homeless.

With many thanks to Dawn to Dawn, the CBCS has been formed by community members, including Willis, the original supporter of the program, to assume the challenging program of providing these more personal services to the homeless population, and of taking further steps to promote positive changes in our community.

The mission remains the same, to improve access to healthcare and related services through relationship building with individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Comox Valley area.

To learn more about us CBCS, visit or e-mail For immediate assistance, contact Karen at 250-338-1221.


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