‘Pray and stay’ church in Parksville acts as homeless shelter
Inside the St. Anne and St. Edmund church in Parksville. (CTV Vancouver Island)
“I really wrestled with the fact that there was no safe place where people could just be safe, warm and fed,” says Christine Muise, the priest associate for St. Anne and St. Edmund church in Parksville.
The ‘pray and stay’ vigil has been open since Dec. 6 and is averaging six to 14 people a night, says Muise.
The vigil is being held inside the 125-year-old church, the oldest log-style church on Vancouver Island.
There are several pews for people to rest and the community has been donating blankets, clothing and food.
Arbutus Grove Church in Parksville had been operating a cold-weather shelter in previous years but didn't have the capacity this year.
A homeless shelter was originally planned to go into the new 52-unit supportive housing development at ORCA Place in Parksville but was removed before the opening.