The Victoria Cool Aid Society has opened additional beds now that the Emergency Weather Protocol is activated. (Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)

The Victoria Cool Aid Society has opened additional beds now that the Emergency Weather Protocol is activated. (Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)

More Greater Victoria shelter beds available during freezing temperatures

Emergency Weather Protocol activated on Feb. 3

The Victoria Cool Aid Society was slightly over capacity Sunday night.

On Monday, the temperature in Victoria was a chilly -5 C – with wind chill bringing the temperature closer to -10.

The Victoria Cool Aid Society offers 109 beds year-round and 40 additional beds over the winter – from Nov. 1 to March 31. During the activation of the Emergency Weather Protocol (EWP), Cool Aid opens an additional 20 mats at their Rock Bay Landing location.

Joann Connolly, manager of the Victoria Cool Aid Society shelters at Rock Bay Landing, said the society often sees its bed usage go down during an EWP because clients have more options.

But not this week.

“So we typically see it go down, but this time we didn’t, we actually saw it increase,” she said. “I’m assuming that’s due to the really cold temperatures and the snow and the wind.”

Connolly said Cool Aid took in 21 people at their 20-bed Rocky Bay landing emergency location, and 43 people at the 40-bed temporary shelter at the Downtown Community Centre at 755 Pandora Ave.

“We have to say no to some extent, especially in the temporary shelter, especially because it’s a small space – it’s a gym,” she said, adding that staffing and fire regulations limit intake to 45 people at the downtown centre.

RELATED: Wet weather leads to extreme weather protocol in Victoria

RELATED: Extreme Weather Protocol activated in Greater Victoria

The temporary shelter offers a hot meal, some toiletries and clean clothes and staffing to direct clients to different resources.

Victoria’s EWP was activated Feb. 3 when temperatures dropped across the south Island.

The EWP is a community-based initiative to increase the number of shelter spaces available during winter weather conditions such as heavy wind, snow, rain and temperatures below 0 C.

With the help of organizations such as Our Place Society and the Salvation Army, an additional 115 spots open up for overnight shelter when the EWP is activated.

RELATED: Victoria Cool Aid Society looks to beautify city with art

RELATED: Cool Aid struggles to find temporary housing for Cedar Grove residents



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Victoria Cool Aid Society

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

Just Posted

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)
Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

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 Jan. 19

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

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Most Read