Victoria AIDS centre to close its doors Monday

Island Health informed VARCS last October that it failed to quality for funding

Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society (VARCS) is permanently closing its doors March 31, thanks to a new harm reduction model by the region’s health authority.

Since 1991, VARCS has provided respite and community support services to people living with HIV/AIDS through contract funding from Island Health. Last year, VARCS received $165,000 for it work, which includes a region-wide needle exchange program.

Island Health informed VARCS last October that it failed to quality for funding under the health organization’s new comprehensive Hard to Reach service model, which focuses funding on health and mobile harm reduction services and intensive case management outreach teams.

But the non-profit only went public with the news this week.

“The closing of our doors means that people living in the South Island area will have diminished social supports, which could have serious health consequences,” said TJ Furlani, VARCS chair.

Last summer, Island Health asked VARCS and other agencies to present proposals that incorporated its Hard to Reach model.

“That model was predicated on over a year’s worth of work with VicPD and City of Victoria on redesigning harm reduction support in the core Victoria area, and focusing on where there was a gap in service,” said Suzanne Germain, Island Health spokesperson.

AIDS Vancouver Island was the successful proponent of that process, and will now receive $435,000 for harm reduction services, and $278,000 for an integrated case management team annually.

“There has been no budget reduction,” Germain said. “We’ve actually put an additional$500,000 into this service model across (our jurisdiction).”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read