BC Housing has extended a lease that will allow the Sooke Shelter Society to continue providing temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness.
The shelter will continue to operate at 2197 Otter Point Rd. until April 30. The current lease at the 20-bed shelter was set to expire on March 31.
“The extension will support the time needed to renovate the Hope Centre before the transition of clients to the building from the Otter Point Road temporary shelter and allow for the continued support of a much needed warm, safe and secure place to sleep for people who are experiencing homelessness in the community,” Tim Chamberlin, a spokesman for BC Housing said.
BC Housing will continue to provide operational funding for the shelter, which provides guests with a clean bed, food and access to a washroom. The operator will continue to ensure people are following pandemic health guidelines, including physical distancing.
The province recently announced two new housing projects in Sooke that will provide 75 affordable rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes, along with 33 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the community.
Although a comprehensive count is not available, 37 Sooke residents were identified as homeless in the Greater Victoria 2020 Point in Time Count, 73 people in the first six months of 2020 at the Sooke Shelter Society and, in a survey on hidden homelessness, 46 people indicated they felt at risk of homelessness. It is not clear whether there is an overlap between the three sources.