The Sooke homeless shelter, located at 2197 Otter Point Rd, will have to find a permanent location by the end of March. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Sooke homeless shelter, located at 2197 Otter Point Rd, will have to find a permanent location by the end of March. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke homeless shelter must relocate by end of March

Otter Point Road property owner wants to develop property

There may be less than two months for a homeless shelter in Sooke to find a new home, but that doesn’t shake Amy Bell.

Bell, the Sooke Region Communities Health Network’s shelter operations manager, said she hasn’t lost hope to relocate 19 people experiencing homelessness, as she’s been closely working with B.C. Housing since opening last July.

The lease for the Sooke homeless shelter, located along Otter Point Road, expires at the end of March.

“We’ve been able to help these residents get settled and start moving their lives into the direction they want to be,” said Bell. “We know we’ve done a good thing here, and we can’t wait to keep it growing.”

As the only homeless shelter on the West Shore, Bell said the need for community support is essential.

READ MORE: No plan in place if Sooke homeless shelter forced to shut doors

Bell said the shelter received positive feedback from the community during the Christmas holiday season. The non-profit received gift bags from John Muir Middle School students and personal items from the Shoebox Project.

Currently, the shelter is filled to maximum capacity at 19. Bell said they have got a growing waitlist but didn’t specify how many people were on the list.

The District of Sooke has received a development application for the shelter’s property, located at 2917 Otter Point Rd. The application is still awaiting the district council’s approval.

“The shelter has made it easier for health-care workers to locate people [experiencing homelessness] and give residents a sense of security,” said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait. “Having somewhere they can leave their belongings is so important.”

In the meantime, Bell said shelter staff is always on the lookout for socks, underwear and camping gear for those who don’t have a roof over their heads in Sooke.

ALSO READ: Sooke homeless shelter adds two more beds, continue search for permanent home


 

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