Oceanside Extreme Weather Shelter

8 beds

ICCS is pleased to provide extreme weather shelter for the Oceanside (Parksville, Qualicum, and surrounding areas) starting November 15th, 2016. We are accepting volunteer and support worker applications here. Services will be provided when temperatures drop near freezing with rainfall that makes it difficult or impossible for people who are homeless to remain dry; or when sleet, freezing rain, snow accumulation, or high winds, present a similar danger to health and safety. For more details, see the community’s extreme weather response plan soon to be published by the Oceanside Homelessness Task Force. Find below a job description for EWS Support Workers and Volunteers and a description of the program and its services.


Extreme Weather Response (EWR) funding is provided by the Government of British Columbia for community based services to provide temporary emergency shelter spaces during periods of extreme winter weather which threaten the health and safety of people who are homeless. The SOS is responsible for managing EWR funds in Parksville. The program is time-limited, weather responsive, and temporary. It is not "cold weather" shelter that is offered continuously from day to day. It is only provided when extreme weather conditions are experienced.

When is the Shelter Open?

In the event of extreme weather, community representatives call an extreme weather alert which enables the shelter to open it's doors. Calling an extreme weather alert also activates the Assistance to Shelter Act (ASA) for the period of the alert. In 2009, the Assistance to Shelter Act (ASA) became a piece of legislation which grants local police and the RCMP the capacity to assist a person who is homeless to a shelter during extreme weather alerts.


SOS will provide notice when the Extreme Weather Shelter will be open to local community agencies and others who provide services to people who are homeless, and notices will be posted at locations where people who are homeless are known to visit. Notification will be sent by 10 am. Media releases that have been approved by BC Housing will be made to the wider community.

The following groups and organizations will receive notification:

  • City of Parksville
  • Town of Qualicum Beach
  • Regional District of Nanaimo
  • Oceanside MLA and MP offices


To provide access to temporary shelter spaces for people who are homeless during periods of extreme winter weather which threaten their health and safety.


When operating, the shelter will be open from 6 pm each night to 8 am.

Core Services

The provision of safe, secure and appropriate sleeping accommodation for people who are considered to be homeless or at risk of suffering physical harm because of extreme weather conditions.


Shelter is available to all adults (aged 19 and older) and families groups. Due to capacity constraints and service limitations, the Oceanside EWS may not be able to accommodate all eligible clients or groups equally. For instance extremely vulnerable individuals, individuals with significant medical needs, violent individuals, and large groups or families may be beyond the capacity of the shelter.
When we are unable to accommodate an eligible client, the client will be referred to alternate shelters in Nanaimo or other support services wherever possible.


Children, under the age of 19, can receive service if they are accompanied by their parent/guardian or if they are referred to the provider by a social worker acting under the Child, Family and Community Service Act. Individuals under the age of 19, presenting without a parent or guardian, will be referred to child and youth serving agencies and/or the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). The province-wide Helpline for Children (310-1234) is an available resource.

What is Extreme Weather?

Extreme Weather Conditions are defined by the Task Force on Homelessness. In general implementation of the Extreme Weather Response Plan is called by the Regional Coordinator when weather conditions are deemed severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of homeless persons. Criteria may include: Temperatures near zero with rainfall that makes it difficult or impossible for homeless people to remain dry; Sleet/freezing rain; Snow accumulation; Sustained high winds; Temperatures at or below minus 2 Celsius, taking into account wind-chill; Feedback from clientele of the region's service providers may also be considered, and other factors.