BC Housing has purchased a building in Victoria West that will be able to temporarily house 70 residents, who are experiencing homelessness, before the end of April. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Housing has purchased a building in Victoria West that will be able to temporarily house 70 residents, who are experiencing homelessness, before the end of April. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Housing creates 70 new shelter spaces in Victoria

Vic West site will have wrapround supports for residents, operate for at least 18 months

BC Housing has purchased a building in Victoria West to temporarily house 70 residents who are experiencing homelessness, before the end of April.

The newly secured indoor shelter spaces come one month before Victoria prepares to reinstate a bylaw banning daytime public camping on May 1.

The spaces will be located in a building at 225 Russell St., which is currently under renovation so that it can operate as a temporary shelter and provide supports for residents. A B.C. news release said residents will be able to move in by the end of April and the shelter will be open for 18 months, with a possible extension of another six months.

Our Place Society, a non-profit experienced in helping the unhoused, will operate the building and provide supports that include daily meals, access to sanity and hygiene facilities, storage for belongings and health and wellness program access and referrals.

READ: Victoria’s daytime park camping prohibition back in effect May 1

“In order to hit our target of bringing everyone in tents in parks in Victoria inside by the end of April, this building is a necessary part of the plan,” said David Eby, B.C.’s minister responsible for housing. “While this purchase helps us reach our initial goal of dignified shelter by the end of next month, the site will also support our work to deliver stable, safe, long-term homes for people living in parks in Victoria when it is ultimately redeveloped.”

The province and Victoria have identified about 200 people who are currently living in outdoor encampments. The release said 116 people experiencing homeless in the city have have moved into supportive housing or shelter spaces, such as the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and the Capital City Centre Hotel, since January.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the new spaces will help provide people currently sheltering in parks a pathway to permanent housing.

“I want to thank the province and the residents of Vic West for welcoming some of the region’s most vulnerable residents on a temporary basis as they begin their journey to housing,” she said. “We look forward to working with the province and neighbourhood residents on the long-term plan for the site.”

After the Russell property’s use as a temporary shelter, the release said BC Housing will engage the community on a redevelopment proposal for supportive housing, which will follow the municipal rezoning process.

READ: Here’s what Victoria’s community care tent meant to those who ran and used it


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

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

Victoria

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

Just Posted

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

Victoria police are searching for Andrew Swanson who was last seen in Victoria April 7 and is wanted on warrants for choking and obstructing police. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing man wanted for choking police

Andrew Swanson, 47, last seen in Victoria April 7

The Esquimalt Fire Department was called to a residence on Glengarry Place Tuesday afternoon for a fire that has displaced two families. There were no injuries and damage is being assessed. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt fire displaces two families

Fire damage at residence on Glengarry Place still being assessed

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of UVic varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read