A pair of buildings serving as shelter spaces for those experiencing homelessness in Greater Victoria have faced water service issues in recent weeks.
BC Housing has brought in sanitation trailers to the former Mount Tolmie Hospital site so its current residents can access clean water, showers, sinks and toilets after a collapsed sewer pipe impacted water service to the building.
The formerly vacant Saanich hospital, which has been secured as a shelter for 12 months, recently welcomed 43 residents who were staying at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. Those residents were relocated as the arena will be needed for an Olympic basketball qualifying tournament that starts on June 29.
In an email response to Black Press Media, a BC Housing spokesperson said the province and Island Health are working to address the collapsed pipe issue. The response said 20 residents have had access to water and sanitation services at all times and the remaining 23 residents from the arena were moved to other housing sites.
Drinking water stations have been set up throughout the Mount Tolmie site. BC Housing said facilities like the sanitation trailers have been used before at sites such as Victoria’s Tiny House Village.
Residents at the 24/7-staffed Mount Tolmie site continue to have access to daily meals and health and wellness supports.
The 94-unit Travelodge on Gorge Road East, which the province has rented to be a supportive housing site until Dec. 31, also recently experienced facility issues. BC Housing said it was disappointed and frustrated to learn some of the site’s residents had intermittent access to hot water for a two week stretch in late May and early June. The province said the issue has since been resolved.
BC Housing said it takes these issues very seriously and contacted the Travelodge’s owners to ensure repairs were made immediately after they learned about the hot water problem.
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