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

City of VictoriaEmergency shelters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney part of a region that suffers ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Consultants find that Sidney needs 233 new spaces to meet the current demand for daycare

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

Friday night tickets affect Saturday behaviour at the University of Victoria

Saanich police see direct response after issuing several $230 fines

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

COVID-19 liquor, music rules extended with fines

‘Nightclubs must cease operating as nightclubs’

Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

James is among 15 MLAs retiring at the end of their current term

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Most Read