Carpentry students nail down support for homeless

Camosun students construct micro-house for Our Place Society

Camosun carpentry students stand in front of the prototype micro-home they constructed for Our Place Society. Architectural Trades chair Al van Akker believes that with appropriate funding and planning

Camosun carpentry students are putting their skills to work to tackle homelessness in Greater Victoria. Over the past several weeks, a student team has been busy constructing an 8×10-foot prototype micro-house for Choices Transitional Home, run by Our Place Society.

“It is a great fit for us in the carpentry department because every Level 1 apprentice and every foundation student needs to build a floor, walls and a roof in order to satisfy the practical competencies of the program,” said Camosun’s Architectural Trades chair Al van Akker. “If we build micro-houses, we will achieve all of our curricular requirements, and could make a measurable contribution to the most needy in our community.”

With appropriate funding and planning, van Akker says that Camosun carpentry students could construct up to 100 micro-houses per year.

“Right now at Choices, there are 30 tents in their courtyard. We’d like to replace those with micro-houses, which will be a lot more suitable for the wet and cold weather that will be coming in a few months.”

Our Place executive director Don Evans agrees. “We are thrilled to have the micro-house prototype constructed by Camosun students at Choices,” he says. “I see micro-houses as a viable option for people experiencing homelessness because they are cost effective and take up little space. There can be opportunities to place them in different locations such as church parking lots or vacant land.”

The micro-house solution is not a permanent one, but it can provide a bridge between a tent in a park and a permanent home. A similar initiative at Opportunity Villiage in Eugene, Ore. has proven successful at addressing homelessness and related issues in that community.

Evans envisions an important role for the Choices facility as part of a lasting solution to homelessness here in Greater Victoria.

“For the next eight months, Choices will be used for transitioning people from the street into permanent housing. Over the long term, we would like to see Choices developed into a recovery centre for people struggling with mental health and addictions,” he says.

Choices Transitional Home in View Royal was opened by Our Place in February 2016 to provide housing for 50 homeless people who were previously living at the tent city on the lawn of the provincial courthouse. The repurposed facility provides both indoor and outdoor housing options.

Our Place is a unique inner-city community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, mentally and physically challenged, addicted and the homeless. They serve over 1,600 meals per day and provide hot showers, free clothing, counseling and outreach services, plus 45 transitional housing units.

Volunteers, financial and clothing donations are always needed. “We are also looking for sponsors of the new micro-houses,” notes Evans. “Cost is about $2,000 per home.”

 

To donate, visit: ourplacesociety.com. For more information about Camosun’s carpentry program, visit camosun.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich CUPE members serve 72-hour strike notice to SD63

Members seeking comparable wages to other South Island school districts

Victoria’s Bay Street Bridge to re-open on Monday

Two-way traffic will be going through during the day

Re-Greta-bly, Thunberg won’t visit Victoria, despite Olympic athlete ready to row her over

Climate activist clarified Tuesday night she won’t have time to visit the Island

Alcohol available onboard BC Ferries starting Thursday

Beer and wine sales begin at 11 a.m. on select Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay sailings

Kiwanis Club expands to West Shore

Service club has long history of nurturing children and youth in the community

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Oct. 22, 2019

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

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Former Kelowna Hells Angels associate could be deported, court rules

David Revell has lost his fight against deportation from Canada

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Vigil honours soldiers killed in Canada in non-combat roles

Ceremony at the Cobble Hill Cenotaph is in its sixth year

Most Read