Coalition to End Homelessness makes gains on ambitious goal

More than 500 housed in Greater Victoria in last year

Another year, another 535 people housed – bringing the region significantly closer to its goal of ending homelessness by 2018.

The number is down from last year, when members of the Coalition to End Homelessness worked together to house 635 people. But the tally doesn’t tell the whole story.

Housing retention is also an important part of the picture.

“We will continue to strengthen our efforts to ensure that people retain their housing for much longer periods,” said Debbie Thompson, executive director of the Coalition to End Homelessness.

“Our intention is to continue to monitor that … because it’s about ensuring people have the supports to remain housed.”

There’s already been progress.

At first, one third of homeless clients housed were either evicted or lost their housing for a variety of reasons. That proportion has now dropped to one quarter.

“We know that at least 75 per cent of the people housed remained past six months,” said Thompson. “It’s incremental but it’s steady.”

The coalition held its annual general meeting Tuesday, marking the two-year anniversary since members agreed on a 10-year deadline to house the estimated 1,500 homeless on the street. Since then, hundreds of new subsidized housing units have opened up, yet the number of people seeking emergency shelter has also risen.

The coalition’s Streets to Homes program, which ramped up in May 2010 after a long delay, has guided 41 people into rental apartments by March 31.

The pilot project aims to house 120 people in private market units.

To help find more suitable units and landlords willing to participate, the coalition partnered with the Rental Owners and Managers Society of B.C.

So far, six to 10 landlords have been identified through the partnership.

They have pledged to dedicate 15 units by summer for people coming from supportive housing, rather than people currently living on the street.

“That’s going extremely well,” Thompson said, adding that so far, she’s received positive feedback from participating landlords.

Unlike most tenants, who could deface the property or fail to pay rent, Streets-to-Home clients come with direct rent payments, a support worker and an appointed landlord liaison, she said.

With seven years left to achieve an end to homelessness, Thompson emphasized the need for funding partners.

“We need all levels of government,” she said. While she acknowledged the provincial government’s contribution to maintain current supportive and affordable housing, she emphasized, “we need more new stock.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

 

By the numbers:

One year snapshot, ending March 31, 2011:

• 177 additional rent supplements to house people in existing market rental units

• 258 units of newly built subsidized housing opened for the homeless, for seniors, or people with disabilities.

• 535 people housed who were previously homeless

• 1,958 unique individuals used one of five emergency shelters, up 7.4 per cent over two years.

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read