Our Place made the decision to transform a small recreational space with 35 mats in the basement of their location at 919 Pandora Ave. after the search for another winter shelter in Greater Victoria was unsuccessful. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Nightly waiting list sparks opening of new 35-bed shelter in Victoria

Our Place will transform small recreational space to make room ahead of winter

More than 30 people will now have a warm place to sleep this winter as Our Place Society opens a new night shelter.

The existing shelter run at the First Metropolitan Church has a waiting list of more than 40 people every night, noted Don Evans, CEO of Our Place. “That tells us we desperately need more shelter space.”

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

Our Place made the decision to transform a small recreational space, with 35 mats in the basement of their location at 919 Pandora Ave. after the search for a winter shelter in Greater Victoria was unsuccessful.

“This will give 35 people the security of knowing they have a bed for the night, every night, over the winter period,” Evans says.

With the assistance of BC Housing, the new shelter space will open on Oct. 1.

READ ALSO: New storage space opens at Our Place

In addition to the new shelter space, Our Place will expand the hours of its hygiene area into the evening. For the first time ever, hot showers will be available from 6 to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Evans says being able to access a hot shower is important for both physical and mental health.

“We have fantastic volunteers who scrub the showers after every use so that people are entering a clean space,” he says. “It’s just one of the ways we show dignity and respect for the people we serve.”

Our Place is now in need of more clean towels and hygiene volunteers. Towels can be dropped off anytime at 919 Pandora Ave., and volunteers are invited to learn more at ourplacesociety.com/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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