The B.C. government will fund approximately 145 extreme weather shelter spaces across Greater Victoria this winter to help those whose health and safety may be threatened by cold, wet weather.
The temporary spaces will be available from now until March 31, 2015 as communities issue extreme weather alerts for their area. The spaces will supplement the more than 140 permanent, year-round shelter beds across Greater Victoria.
Each community decides what weather conditions warrant an alert and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.
The Province also funds outreach teams in Greater Victoria to help connect people with a range of services such as housing, health care and community supports. Last year, more than 6,700 people in B.C. were connected to housing, income assistance and a range of support services by provincially funded homeless outreach and shelter workers.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing -
“During the winter months, our government works with communities and volunteers in Greater Victoria and around the province to ensure additional shelter space is available for people in need of a safe, warm place to stay. Funding for these spaces is part of the more than $11 million we invest in the Victoria area each year to provide emergency shelter spaces, subsidized units and rent supplements for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”
- Throughout the province, the B.C. government will provide up to $1.6 million this winter to make more than 1,100 temporary emergency shelter spaces serving more than 90 communities.
- A list of Extreme Weather Response shelter spaces is available at: http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/EXR
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, nearly 100,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- A list of permanent shelter spaces is available at: www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/ESP
To receive notifications on when communities are issuing Extreme Weather Alerts, follow BC Housing on Twitter: @BC_Housing (twitter.com)
For information on housing investments in Victoria, please visit: http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/fs_Community-Victoria.pdf and http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/fs_Homeless%20Supports_Victoria.pdf
A backgrounder follows.
Locations offering temporary shelter during Extreme Weather Alerts
The Extreme Weather Response program enables communities to temporarily increase emergency shelter capacity during extreme weather conditions. Communities determine when to issue an Extreme Weather Alert and how many spaces to make available on a given night.
The following locations in the Victoria area will offer temporary shelter space when an Extreme Weather Alert is activated:
Victoria Native Friendship Centre, 231 Regina Ave. / 25 spaces
Our Place Society, 919 Pandora Ave. / 50 spaces
The Salvation Army, 525 Johnson St. / 30 spaces
Victoria Cool Aid Society, 755 Pandora Ave. / 40 spaces