West Shore set as priority for housing society focussing on youth

A Victoria-based society is taking over the quest to establish temporary youth housing on the West Shore.

A Victoria-based society is taking over the quest to establish temporary youth housing on the West Shore, with a goal to have housing up and running by spring 2014.

In its recently released five-year strategic plan, Threshold Housing Society identified expansion into the West Shore as a key priority.

“We’re anxious to open up. We feel the need, the call has been heard, we’re trying to respond,” executive director Mark Muldoon said.

The society’s goal is to establish semi-independent housing on the West Shore for homeless youth who need lifeskill building and cannot live alone. With a live-in supervisor and access to programs, the project is hoped to house four to six youth for long-term transitional housing.

Threshold is now on the hunt to buy, build or rent a house for the project, along with the money to do it.

With Threshold taking hold of the reigns, Bill McElroy believes it’s time for the West Shore Emergency Youth Housing Task Force, which he chairs, to call it a day and celebrate its modest victories.

“Our thinking is, maybe we’ve achieved our goal and it’s time to wrap it up and support Threshold,” McElroy said. “We work very closely with Threshold, they come to our meetings, so I don’t see a problem.”

McElroy and a group of committed volunteers have been working steadily over the past few years to establish a place for homeless West Shore teens to go to get away from bad situations and find a chance for a second start. Funding issues and bureaucracy have been the primary stumbling blocks to any project coming together.

All money the task force raised through donations, about $6,800 in total, will go to Threshold and be earmarked for the West Shore initiative.

McElroy said he’ll continue to support Threshold with whatever help is needed.

Muldoon said McElroy’s efforts have been key to finding success.

“Bill has done an admirable job in corralling and encouraging public support,” Muldoon said. “He’s true blue to the community. He saw a deficit, he saw a gap in services and he went out and filled it. … That’s how great communities are built, by people like him.”

An even more permanent and varied facility is also in the longterm vision of the society.

One residence for a high-level youth that require some supervision  is in operation on the West Shore. The goal is to establish four more on the West Shore.

The society went to the provincial ministry of children and family development for funding, but were told no funding is available.

“That was very disappointing,” Muldoon said. “We’re not giving up. We’re small but mighty. We’re forging ahead with our own resources the best we can and we’ll be asking the community to help out.”

McElroy encourages residents to make a donation to Threshold Housing Society to help get the West Shore project off the ground.

“They still need help. It’s a good time of year to make a donation if you don’t want to see kids sleeping out in the great outdoors, or just coach surfing.”

 

Just Posted

Increased rental construction boosts housing starts across Greater Victoria

Rest of Vancouver Island experiencing spillover effect from Greater Victoria

Bay Street Bridge construction begins today

Point Ellice Bridge will be closed to eastbound vehicle traffic until October

Some showers, high of 18 C for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your weekly forecast

Survey finds 15 per cent of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Mamma Mia! poised to be biggest Chemainus Theatre show ever

Plenty of buzz as Island dinner theatre schedules ABBA-fueled romp

New book from Island author details social history of the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River.

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several days, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Most Read