A number of shelters and warming stations have announced hours when members of the public can take refuge from the snow into the New Year, as Greater Victoria continues to face a cold-induced Extreme Weather Alert.
Sooke Shelter at 6750 West Coast Road will offer space 24/7 until Jan. 4. Meals will be provided and pets and shopping carts are permitted.
The Salvation Army’s A.R.C. at 525 Johnson Street has a capacity of 30 mats in a co-ed space, where soup will be provided from 8:30 to 10 p.m. and shelter until 7:30 a.m. nightly until Jan. 2. Shopping carts and pets are not permitted at this site.
Finally, the City of Victoria will operate a daily warming centre at the James Bay United Church at 511 Michigan Street from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. until Dec. 29. Well-behaved pets will be permitted. Their open dates may be shortened or extended based on changes in weather conditions and forecasts.
Updates to the status of Greater Victoria’s cold shelters will be posted on the Twitter feed and website of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.
The shelter’s hours follow an Extreme Weather Alert issued by the Government of Canada on Dec. 24. The emergency alert permits Victoria police to voluntarily transport people experiencing homelessness to a shelter or order that they go to a shelter unescorted.
“If a person at risk refuses to comply with or fails to respond to the police officer’s request, the police officer, using reasonable force if necessary, may transport the person at risk to an emergency shelter,” reads B.C.’s Assistance to Shelter Act.
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