Our Place Society has a courtyard where patrons can leave their things but it is uncovered and unsupervised, prompting many people to avoid using Extreme Weather Protocol shelter space and instead stay outdoors. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Extreme Weather Protocol activated in Victoria for 10th day in a row

More shelter beds open to the region’s homeless population

Heavy snow and cold temperatures have kept the Extreme Weather Protocol (EWP) active since Feb. 3, resulting in more than enough beds and mats for those seeking shelter.

The Extreme Weather Protocol will activate if there is heavy rain, wind or snow or if temperatures hit 0 C or below.

On Tuesday night alone, shelters across the Capital Region opened their doors and saw 388 people come in.

“We’re seemingly meeting the needs of the people accessing shelters,” said Jennifer Wilde, regional co-ordinator of EWP. “That’s across all regular emergency shelters, extreme weather shelters, temporary shelters and youth sites.”

ALSO READ: With 60 shelter beds inside, some homeless opt to sleep in the snow

The emergency shelters opened up at the Salvation Army, at Rock Bay, Our Place and the Juan de Fuca Electoral District, offering an additional 92 mats. These sites are all “Tier 1” designated sites, while Tier 2 sites are backup spaces offering an additional 30 mats.

“We opened up the second tier in case we needed the space, but we didn’t need it,” Wilde said. “The open shelters have been thinking of accommodating people, and have been much more lenient about access to shelters, which is good.”

Wilde noted that despite the available beds, many people choose to stay outside. The most common reason for this decision, she’s been told, is a fear for people’s possessions.

ALSO READ: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place bring extreme weather shelter to Sooke

“Gear is a huge problem, there’s nowhere for people to store their stuff,” Wilde said.

Others feel more comfortable when there are less people around, she added.

Regardless of the reasons, people staying inside or outside of the shelters at night can still access the services during the day. Wilde noted in harsh weather donations are needed more than ever.

“Donations are still coming in, but it’s tough with the road conditions being so bad,” she said. “We need stuff. If people have extra toques, mitts, scarves, jackets, snow pants, we could definitely use it.”

The EWP is activated for this evening.

For more information, you can visit vewp.net.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Study moves Oak Bay closer to contraceptive control for problem deer

The report says between 78 and 128 black tail deer live in the affluent beach-side community

Two missing Victoria children found safe

VicPD responded to two separate missing children calls Tuesday

Chim Chim Cher‑ee! Mary Poppins is coming to Oak Bay High

Mary Poppins opens Friday, Feb. 22, at the Dave Dunnet theatre

Saanich amalgamation committee holds first meeting

Saanich councillors call for a transparent process to ensure success of study

Crews repair damage after Tuesday night water main break in Langford

Flooding resulted in property damage, forced evacuation from Langford homes

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

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

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Most Read