BC Housing has purchased a building in Victoria West that will be able to temporarily house 70 residents, who are experiencing homelessness, before the end of April. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Housing has purchased a building in Victoria West that will be able to temporarily house 70 residents, who are experiencing homelessness, before the end of April. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Housing creates 70 new shelter spaces in Victoria

Vic West site will have wrapround supports for residents, operate for at least 18 months

BC Housing has purchased a building in Victoria West to temporarily house 70 residents who are experiencing homelessness, before the end of April.

The newly secured indoor shelter spaces come one month before Victoria prepares to reinstate a bylaw banning daytime public camping on May 1.

The spaces will be located in a building at 225 Russell St., which is currently under renovation so that it can operate as a temporary shelter and provide supports for residents. A B.C. news release said residents will be able to move in by the end of April and the shelter will be open for 18 months, with a possible extension of another six months.

Our Place Society, a non-profit experienced in helping the unhoused, will operate the building and provide supports that include daily meals, access to sanity and hygiene facilities, storage for belongings and health and wellness program access and referrals.

READ: Victoria’s daytime park camping prohibition back in effect May 1

“In order to hit our target of bringing everyone in tents in parks in Victoria inside by the end of April, this building is a necessary part of the plan,” said David Eby, B.C.’s minister responsible for housing. “While this purchase helps us reach our initial goal of dignified shelter by the end of next month, the site will also support our work to deliver stable, safe, long-term homes for people living in parks in Victoria when it is ultimately redeveloped.”

The province and Victoria have identified about 200 people who are currently living in outdoor encampments. The release said 116 people experiencing homeless in the city have have moved into supportive housing or shelter spaces, such as the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and the Capital City Centre Hotel, since January.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the new spaces will help provide people currently sheltering in parks a pathway to permanent housing.

“I want to thank the province and the residents of Vic West for welcoming some of the region’s most vulnerable residents on a temporary basis as they begin their journey to housing,” she said. “We look forward to working with the province and neighbourhood residents on the long-term plan for the site.”

After the Russell property’s use as a temporary shelter, the release said BC Housing will engage the community on a redevelopment proposal for supportive housing, which will follow the municipal rezoning process.

READ: Here’s what Victoria’s community care tent meant to those who ran and used it


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Starting in June, Government Street will be closed to most vehicles between Humboldt and View streets. A section of Government Street was transformed into a pedestrian-priority walkway in the wake of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria plans 10-hour closures of Government Street come June

City’s business relief plan extended, Government St. from Humboldt to View closed noon to 10 p.m.

Cyclists cruised around Saanich at the 2017 Cycling Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich scavenger hunt replaces annual Cycling Festival

Participants encouraged to ‘walk or roll’ to 20 secret sites, submit photo proof for prizes

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

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

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read