My Place, at 1240 Yates St., is being proposed as an emergency shelter for harsh weather conditions. (Google Maps)

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

As the season slips from autumn to winter, the City of Victoria is trying to combat a shortage of emergency shelter spaces.

Year-round there are 220 spaces available, with an additional temporary 145 spaces between Nov. 1 and April 1.

During this time additional mats can become available through the Extreme Weather Protocol (EWP), when weather conditions bring heavy wind, rain, snow or temperatures below zero degrees.

There are 85 tier-1 emergency mats across three locations, but in the event that all shelter beds and mats are full there are 15 additional tier-2 emergency mats. In 2017, the tier-2 beds were needed six times, but there is likely to be a greater need this winter.

“I expect it will be triggered a lot this year,” said Don Evans, executive director of Our Place. “We’ve lost more shelter spaces this year.”

Beds were lost after the Victoria Native Friendship Centre began providing more permanent affordable housing options and since Rock Bay Landing stopped offering overflow beds.

In a motion put forward by Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Coun. Marianne Alto, a site has been identified as a contender for a tier-2 emergency shelter on Yates Street.

ALSO READ: Used election signs could serve as emergency shelters, B.C. candidate says

My Place, a 24/7 transitional housing complex run by Our Place at 1240 Yates St. has a space upstairs that could serve this purpose. While funding from BC Housing had already been approved for this year’s tier-2 spaces, the original location at the Seventh Day Adventist Church had to be moved after experiencing plumbing issues.

Thornton-Joe and Alto consulted with the committee of My Place. The committee supported the idea as long as staff could be provided by BC Housing, that no more than 15 mats be allowed, that the clientele match the shelter’s clientele (in this case a medium- to high-barrier shelter), that the shelter individuals are transported to and from My Place each day, and that the program be discontinued if problems arise.

ALSO READ: It costs less to house a person in a suite than a shelter

“I hope the city approves it because it’s important that we have somewhere for people to go on the coldest nights,” Evans said.

The proposal will go to council on Thursday.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

Pipeline protestors plan march as Trudeau gives Trans Mountain the go-ahead,

20 kilometre march to protest the pipeline starts in Victoria, ends on Saanich Peninsula

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read