Former Boys and Girls Club building to house courthouse campers

The former Boys and Girls Club building on Yates Street has been selected as the location for a temporary 40-bed emergency shelter.

The City of Victoria has selected the former Boys and Girls Club building on Yates Street as the location for a temporary 40-bed emergency shelter for those camping outside the courthouse.

Our Place has already been tasked with operating the facility, which will offer support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, along with storage, laundry and daily meals until the end of April.

But not everyone is on board with the plan.

The Greater Victoria School District has expressed concern about the temporary site being located close to Central Middle School and the Facebook page of the school’s parent advisory committee has generated a lengthy discussion about the matter that includes a few posts from Mayor Lisa Helps.

“This is about finding a solution to help people in our community who need some extra support…not about who didn’t contact you or ask your permission,” wrote one woman in a post.

“Most parents that I’ve spoken with from Central are not concerned with who was or was not contacted first. No location is ever going to be fully supported but these are human beings who deserve at the very least, to be warm each night. I am disappointed in the lack of compassion and finger pointing that all opposed seem to be so concerned with.”

In an effort to find solutions for the homeless crisis, city officials have been consulting with the community for a number of months. An online survey showed most people supported expanding existing shelters or using existing vacant buildings for temporary shelters rather than exploring options for sheltering in city parks.

As for the new temporary shelter, the city has requested a meeting with the school’s parent advisory committee and a community meeting will be held at 1240 Yates St. on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. From that meeting, the city plans to establish a neighbourhood agreement and committee on how the temporary shelter can be provided while minimizing impacts to the neighbourhood.

The long term future of the property is still being explored and could be considered as part of the redevelopment of the Victoria Fire Department headquarters.

More than 50 campers are now living on a patch of grass outside the Victoria courthouse. Premier Christy Clark said if the campers don’t move to the new shelter when it opens, they will be asked to leave.

B.C. Housing is contributing $400,000 to the shelter, United Way will chip in $25,000 and the city will provide up to $45,000 to upgrade the facility for its temporary use. Officials hope to have the doors open the first week of January.

 

 

Just Posted

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

Car drives into Vic West TD Canada Trust building

No one was injured, building damaged

Cans and bottles destined for Cops for Cancer fundraiser stolen from Sooke RCMP Detachment

Cans and bottles collected to raise funds for Canadian Cancer Society

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read