A Victoria couple displaced by the homeless decampment has moved back into the hotel they were calling home.
Curtis Caziere and Liza Charlie had been staying at the Victoria Travelodge for a few months when there was an announcement from the province that several hotels in Victoria would serve as temporary, supportive housing spaces for the hundreds of people living in tent cities since the pandemic began.
The couple says they were told they would have to leave. But living on the edge of homelessness themselves, they had limited housing options.
In a statement, BC Housing told Black Press Media at that time that it would reach out to individuals impacted to support them and help them find housing.
Charlie says they stayed with a family member for about a day and half until they received a call from BC Housing, telling them they could move back into the hotel and live there free of charge for at least the next two months.
Charlie says the outcome is even better since they also have a room with a kitchen.
“We’re doing what everyone is supposed to be doing, we’re staying in and keeping our distance,” she said, noting that Caziere has numerous health issues including asthma.
Caziere is on disability and Charlie was laid off from her job when the pandemic started.
“This is only temporary,” she said “It’s just a little band-aid, but it’s better than nothing. We’re still looking for a forever home.”
On May 8 the province extended the deadline to May 20 for moving people from Victoria homeless encampments into indoor accommodations.
“No one will be asked to leave these encampments without being offered a suitable temporary housing option,” said a statement from Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
The May 9 deadline was met in Vancouver.
“While we have been working with the hotel sector and service delivery partners toward the May 9 target in Victoria, it is now clear that more time is needed to ensure each person leaving Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue is moved into the accommodation that best meets their needs,” Simpson said.
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