Housing money delivered to Victoria homelessness advocacy group

Provincial grant will help create housing for an additional 120 individuals

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness received much-needed funding this week with a $400,000 grant from B.C. Housing for one of its successful pilot projects.

The Streets to Homes program has already provided housing for 130 people in the Capital Region over the past two years, using a unique delivery of services through a $300 housing subsidy, community support workers and willing landlords with private-market buildings.

Provincial funds will cover 103 spaces, while another 17 spots will be funded by the Coalition, United Way, the City of Victoria and the Victoria Foundation.

“It’s going to take a lot of different tools to end homelessness, so this program won’t work for everybody, but it’s really effective for the people it’s intended for,” said Andrew Wynn-Williams, Coalition executive director.

The province likes the program because it costs about $7,000 per participant each year, less than half the cost of purpose-built supportive housing.

Streets to Homes uses a “housing-first” approach, then works with each person to create an action plan to overcome addiction, treat mental health issues or undergo employment training.

Nearly three-quarters of participants remain in the program after one year, said Brad Crewson, who oversees the project through Pacifica Housing.

“The program only works if we can provide people with some stability,” he said.

“All of the psychological benefits from feeling safe and secure, and being able to address other issues in your life, that really isn’t happening when all you’re thinking is what you’re going to do for housing in two, four, six months.”

Crewson hopes to see Streets to Homes expand to provide support for families as well. He said the key to success is collaborative work with each non-profit service provider in the Capital Region.

“That’s the piece we take a lot of pride in. The beauty of the Coalition is we are really making a concerted effort in maximizing these (funding) dollars and focusing our resources.”

Wynn-Williams said there is still much more work to be done to “break the back” of the challenge of homelessness.

“We still need to create more supportive housing. We’ve targeted a certain number of rent supplements and supportive housing, and we think we need about another 700 units,” he said.

Streets to Homes is a partnership between the Coalition, Pacifica Housing, B.C. Housing, Our Place Society, Salvation Army, Victoria Cool Aid Society, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Ministry of Social Development.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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

Just Posted

Victoria artist in residence seeks seniors to share stories of life with students

The meeting is part of an intergenerational project focusing on face-to-face conversations

Dozen Metchosin ‘barn cats’ on the hunt for new homes

Broken Promises Animal Rescue hoping to re-home feral cats

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

Province’s oldest lawyer shares advice for living well at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

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

Most Read