With winter looming, Our Place Society is installing outdoor tents in its courtyard.
Like other shelter spaces, the Victoria non-profit has reduced its indoor capacity to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, but it’s estimated that hundreds of people are now sheltering outdoors.
Three large 20-by-20-foot tents in the Our Place Society courtyard on Pandora Avenue will be used to help keep people dry as the weather gets colder and wetter.
Grant McKenzie, Our Place Society communications director, says propane heaters will be added to the tents in the future.
“We decided we need to do something as people line up for meals,” he said in an email.
The tents will adhere to COVID-19 protocols and limit the number of people inside at a time.
A ‘community care tent’ was recently installed in Beacon Hill Park by some of the people who live there. They told Black Press Media there was a need for a dry shelter space for people currently living outside.
Overnight shelter spaces have been significantly reduced by COVID-19 safety protocols. Pre-COVID-19, there was roughly 100 spaces for overnight shelter downtown – a number that’s been nearly cut in half by new capacity limits. Hundreds of people could also shelter inside the 755 Pandora Ave. facility before the pandemic, coming inside for warmth during rainy winter days. Now only 40 people can come inside at a time.
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