The homeless shelter in Sooke has added two more beds, bringing a total of 19 individuals that it can house during the cold winter months. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

The homeless shelter in Sooke has added two more beds, bringing a total of 19 individuals that it can house during the cold winter months. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke homeless shelter adds two more beds, continue search for permanent home

‘We need long term security and we don’t have that right now,’ says shelter operations manager

Two more beds have been added to the homeless shelter in Sooke, just in time for the cold winter months.

Now, 19 individuals will be able to spend the holidays indoors, compared to the same time last year when those in need had to choose between an emergency weather shelter in Shirley or downtown Victoria.

“Everybody deserves kindness and a warm place to sleep,” said Amy Bell, shelter operations manager. “We’re working to provide a safe space for people to find stability and live their best lives. Sooke is a complex community with lots of diverse characters and we’re here to care for every part of it.”

Back in September, the shelter had 17 beds with a waitlist of five people. According to Bell, the waitlist is slowly dropping, clients are settling in and most of the common areas have been decorated for Christmas. In fact, the clients are planning their own gift exchange.

The shelter operations manager pointed out that while there will be a generous Christmas breakfast and dinner served later in the month, there is a sense of uncertainty in the air.

ALSO READ: New space secured for Sooke homeless

Currently, the homeless shelter has been operating on a month-to-month lease. Bell confirmed that they have secured their shelter, located at 2197 Otter Point Rd, to operate at the same location until the end of February only.

Bell said the biggest struggle will be finding a permanent space next year, as they’ve officially been operating as a homeless shelter since July. Right now, they have two staff on call at all times, with three in the night.

Nonetheless, they’re keeping their hopes up, as they are the only homeless shelter on the West Shore, with seven in Victoria alone, according to BC211.

“We need long-term security and we don’t have that right now,” said Bell. “‘It’s not fair to let these people wait on pins and needles not knowing where they will end up in a few months.”

Until then, the Sooke Shelter Society is asking the public to donate to their stock of unused socks, gloves and underwear. They also plan to hold a drive-thru raffle ticket sale and collect new unwrapped gifts for children to donate towards the Sooke Christmas Bureau.

Their drive-thru event takes place in the parking lot of 667 Waddams Way on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more info or to donate to the Sooke Shelter Society, head over to bit.ly/SookeShelterSociety.

READ MORE: No plan in place if Sooke homeless shelter forced to shut doors


 

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

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

Housing and HomelessnessSooke

 

The homeless shelter in Sooke has added two more beds, bringing a total of 19 individuals that it can house during the cold winter months. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

The homeless shelter in Sooke has added two more beds, bringing a total of 19 individuals that it can house during the cold winter months. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stood at 6.3 per cent in May 2021, nearly unchanged from April’s rate of 6.2 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stagnates at 6.3 per cent in May

Latest figures reflect conditions before lifting of public health measures

Victoria police are looking for Delmer Esau who was last seen in Esquimalt June 1. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Search continues for man last seen in Esquimalt

Delmer Esau, 35, hasn’t been seen since June 1

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) Saturday announced a COVID-19 exposure at Oak Bay High School. (Black Press Media File).
Oak Bay High School subject of COVID-19 exposure

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) said possible exposure happened June 9-10

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read