Need Shelter Now? Raising the Roof

Happy third Birthday Care-A-Van

The birth of a new society aimed at improving the lives of people in the local district has emerged.

Comox Bay Care Society 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 coordinated 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 week-ends 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 very pleased that Helen will remain as Coordinator 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 Comox Bay Care Society has been formed by community members, including Barry 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.

Most people think of someone who is homeless as an individual who does not have a “home”however, true poverty can be much deeper.

Poverty of the heart can be the most damaging; feeling unworthy and unloved can stop individuals from seeking the medical care they desperately need.

By going directly to them, over time trust is built.

Just being a consistent presence also gives individuals a sense of worth a little at a time. Please visit our website to learn more about us at www.comoxbaycare. org or email at comoxbay@mail. com

For immediate assistance contact Karen at 250-338-1221.

Landlords

Are you interested in becoming a landlord in the Residential Housing Program? Please contact info@dawntodawn.org for more information.