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

Just Posted

Ongoing Saanich Schools strike forces production of ‘Matilda the Musical’ to Esquimalt High

Four Seasons Musical Theatre had to find alternative venue for production

Provincial funding allows Greater Victoria immigrants, refugees better access to counselling services

The Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees was a recipient of new funds

Saanich ranked third for participation in FortisBC energy-efficient upgrades program

800 older apartment buildings in B.C. have received upgrades since 2015

Oak Bay hydro box wrap captures community history

Image shows what early homestead on The Avenue looked like

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

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

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Most Read