The Victoria Cool Aid Society has opened additional beds now that the Emergency Weather Protocol is activated. (Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)

More Greater Victoria shelter beds available during freezing temperatures

Emergency Weather Protocol activated on Feb. 3

The Victoria Cool Aid Society was slightly over capacity Sunday night.

On Monday, the temperature in Victoria was a chilly -5 C – with wind chill bringing the temperature closer to -10.

The Victoria Cool Aid Society offers 109 beds year-round and 40 additional beds over the winter – from Nov. 1 to March 31. During the activation of the Emergency Weather Protocol (EWP), Cool Aid opens an additional 20 mats at their Rock Bay Landing location.

Joann Connolly, manager of the Victoria Cool Aid Society shelters at Rock Bay Landing, said the society often sees its bed usage go down during an EWP because clients have more options.

But not this week.

“So we typically see it go down, but this time we didn’t, we actually saw it increase,” she said. “I’m assuming that’s due to the really cold temperatures and the snow and the wind.”

Connolly said Cool Aid took in 21 people at their 20-bed Rocky Bay landing emergency location, and 43 people at the 40-bed temporary shelter at the Downtown Community Centre at 755 Pandora Ave.

“We have to say no to some extent, especially in the temporary shelter, especially because it’s a small space – it’s a gym,” she said, adding that staffing and fire regulations limit intake to 45 people at the downtown centre.

RELATED: Wet weather leads to extreme weather protocol in Victoria

RELATED: Extreme Weather Protocol activated in Greater Victoria

The temporary shelter offers a hot meal, some toiletries and clean clothes and staffing to direct clients to different resources.

Victoria’s EWP was activated Feb. 3 when temperatures dropped across the south Island.

The EWP is a community-based initiative to increase the number of shelter spaces available during winter weather conditions such as heavy wind, snow, rain and temperatures below 0 C.

With the help of organizations such as Our Place Society and the Salvation Army, an additional 115 spots open up for overnight shelter when the EWP is activated.

RELATED: Victoria Cool Aid Society looks to beautify city with art

RELATED: Cool Aid struggles to find temporary housing for Cedar Grove residents



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Heavy patches of fog along Malahat Tuesday afternoon

Drivers should use caution, drive slow along Okotoks Drive

West Shore RCMP seek man wanted on four counts of breaching court conditions

Christopher Elliott, 28, described as Caucasian with black hair, brown eyes

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Robbie Burns Day celebrated in Saanich Peninsula

Robert Burns is celebrated for his contribution to Scottish culture

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

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

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Baby Bear statue returned to be reunited with Mama and Papa in Island Secret Garden spot

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Most Read