Connect warming centre
CONNECT provides a safe, welcoming space for vulnerable individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness. It is a space where people can escape inclement weather, access bathrooms, enjoy light refreshments, access wifi and be connected to other supports. The goal of CONNECT is to help reduce homelessness by providing support and resources to individuals that may assist them in obtaining and maintaining housing.
CVTS partners with Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness to operate CONNECT. The centre aims to improve self-sufficiency by providing assisted access to housing opportunities, social connection, literacy and education or volunteer opportunities, referrals to community social service agencies, as well as food and other living supports.
CVTS is a founding member of the Comox Valley Coalition To End Homelessness, which is was established for community partners to work as a collective to plan, coordinate, recommend and implement community responses to homelessness.
CONNECT is located at 685 Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay,
open Monday-Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Showers are available at the Lewis Centre,
489 Old Island Highway, Monday, Wednesday & Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
To contact CONNECT, call 250 218-3975
Life in a pandemic
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world and changed our lives, everything shut down, including desperately needed services and community spaces that were regularly accessed by people who are unsheltered or struggling through poverty. Thanks to the support of BC Housing, the City of Courtenay, the Comox Valley Regional District, the Comox Valley Community Foundation, and countless others, CVTS and our partner, the Comox Valley Coalition To End Homelessness, were able to open the Connect Warming Centre and stay open, providing services (including a shower program) to the most vulnerable people in our community, 7 days a week.
CONNECT proved to be an essential resource in the community, despite the pandemic. The community rallied together and helped fill our needs. Whether it was Plates Eatery donating and delivering food, Wayward Distillery donating desperately needed hand-sanitizer, Art Knapp donating beautiful hanging baskets to make it a more inviting and welcoming environment, or individuals stopping by to drop off countless other items, the community answered our call for help. That is true community spirit. That is the Comox Valley.
We are grateful to everyone who supported our efforts, but particularly the CVTS frontline workers who stepped up and demonstrated courage and commitment while continuing to support those in our community who are most in need.
Top Photo: Frontline staff at CONNECT were grateful for the many mask donations they received during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bottom Photo: Opening day at CONNECT Warming Centre, before the pandemic, clients showed their approval and appreciation for the new community resource. (photo courtesy of Comox Valley Record)
What people are saying about CONNECT
This place has been a big help in connecting me to a financial support worker that is helping with reintegration and rent for housing. You have been more than kind with me, and I appreciate it.
I have mental health issues and sometimes I have to go to the Transition House for support. Sometimes I don’t trust myself, and it’s frightening. This place helps me feel like support is never far away.”
Through Connect I can get in touch with so many different resources to get my needs met. It’s a safe place to be, with mutual respect, mutual dignity, caring and friendship.”