Our Place Society has a courtyard where patrons can leave their things but it is uncovered and unsupervised, prompting many people to avoid using Extreme Weather Protocol shelter space and instead stay outdoors. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Extreme Weather Protocol activated in Victoria for 10th day in a row

More shelter beds open to the region’s homeless population

Heavy snow and cold temperatures have kept the Extreme Weather Protocol (EWP) active since Feb. 3, resulting in more than enough beds and mats for those seeking shelter.

The Extreme Weather Protocol will activate if there is heavy rain, wind or snow or if temperatures hit 0 C or below.

On Tuesday night alone, shelters across the Capital Region opened their doors and saw 388 people come in.

“We’re seemingly meeting the needs of the people accessing shelters,” said Jennifer Wilde, regional co-ordinator of EWP. “That’s across all regular emergency shelters, extreme weather shelters, temporary shelters and youth sites.”

ALSO READ: With 60 shelter beds inside, some homeless opt to sleep in the snow

The emergency shelters opened up at the Salvation Army, at Rock Bay, Our Place and the Juan de Fuca Electoral District, offering an additional 92 mats. These sites are all “Tier 1” designated sites, while Tier 2 sites are backup spaces offering an additional 30 mats.

“We opened up the second tier in case we needed the space, but we didn’t need it,” Wilde said. “The open shelters have been thinking of accommodating people, and have been much more lenient about access to shelters, which is good.”

Wilde noted that despite the available beds, many people choose to stay outside. The most common reason for this decision, she’s been told, is a fear for people’s possessions.

ALSO READ: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place bring extreme weather shelter to Sooke

“Gear is a huge problem, there’s nowhere for people to store their stuff,” Wilde said.

Others feel more comfortable when there are less people around, she added.

Regardless of the reasons, people staying inside or outside of the shelters at night can still access the services during the day. Wilde noted in harsh weather donations are needed more than ever.

“Donations are still coming in, but it’s tough with the road conditions being so bad,” she said. “We need stuff. If people have extra toques, mitts, scarves, jackets, snow pants, we could definitely use it.”

The EWP is activated for this evening.

For more information, you can visit vewp.net.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Greater Victoria MP Randall Garrison calls on Ottawa to extend peacekeeping mission in Mali

The Esquimalt-Sooke-Saanich MP just returned from a trip to Mali and Senegal

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Most Read