After seven years of providing services and a place to go for Victoria's homeless community as well as the working poor and mentally and physically challenged people, Our Place Society is finally able to extend its hours from 55 hours to 92 hours per week for the winter season.
“For the first five years it was all about getting the place up and running and bringing in enough donations,” said Grant McKenzie, director of communications at Our Place. “In the last two years, Don Evans (executive director of Our Place) put in place the right team that has been able to raise awareness and raise funds.”
The extended hours is a pilot project for the winter from Oct. 1 to the end of March.
“We really wanted to make sure that people had a warm, dry place to be,” said McKenzie.
The goal is to be able to raise enough funds to be able to continue the extended hours into the summer.
“We're quite optimistic that the community will come forward,” said McKenzie.
The extended hours adds an extra $1 million to Our Place's annual budget. Extra hours also increases Our Place's need for volunteers.
The new winter hours are Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and statutory holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.