Trevor Botkin, trades manager for HeroWork, stands in front of some of the donated items heading to the occupants of Topaz Park. (File Contributed/Paul Latour)

More than 600 items donated to the homeless occupants of Topaz Park

Newly established Neighbourhood Response Team helps coordinate collection

Topaz Park saw a 20-foot container lifted in by a crane on Wednesday morning, chock-a-block full of donated tents, sleeping bags, tarps and sleeping mats.

Members of the Greater Victoria community helped gather 640 items for the homeless being diverted to the park after many shelters shut down due to COVID-19.

The items were collected by a newly-established Neighbourhood Response Team comprised of members of the United Way Greater Victoria, HeroWork Victoria and Big Brothers Big Sisters Victoria.

ALSO READ: B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

On Saturday, the team collected donations at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena, seeing 166 tents, 240 sleeping bags, 109 tarps and 125 sleeping mats dropped off.

“We’re really thrilled with how the city responded,” said Paul Latour, founder and CEO of HeroWork.

The items will remain on site in quarantine for three days before being handed out as needed, Latour added.

There are more than 100 people already at the park, which has been organized by the City of Victoria, the province and local organizations to offer a more established site for the city’s most vulnerable during the pandemic.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria street nurses ask government to help the homeless in COVID-19 crisis

“It’s important because how are the homeless going to self isolate and get food?” Latour said. “This is a place where food is brought in and served, where there’s proper spacing around tents.”

The area also has washrooms and handwashing stations, as well as staff on site to make sure everyone is comfortable.

“We want to thank everybody who dropped off items on Saturday,” said Mark Breslauer, CEO, United Way Greater Victoria. “This is another example of extraordinary generosity during this pandemic. The ‘neighbourhood’ truly responded.”

Topaz park has opened ahead of a similar camp at the Royal Athletic Park, which is being designed to accommodate people with higher needs, including those struggling with mental health and addictions.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

CoronavirusHomelessness

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

 

Trevor Botkin, trades manager for HeroWork, helps operators from Vic City Cranes deliver the donated items heading to the occupants of Topaz Park. (File Contributed/Paul Latour)

Just Posted

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Rural Saanich residents urged to take preventative steps ahead of wildfire season

Saanich Fire Department expects another hot, dry wildfire season

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read