The Victoria Cool Aid Society community centre on Pandora Avenue has been leased by Our Place Society to provide night shelter for homeless people. (Victoria Cool Aid Society Facebook)

The Victoria Cool Aid Society community centre on Pandora Avenue has been leased by Our Place Society to provide night shelter for homeless people. (Victoria Cool Aid Society Facebook)

Our Place teams up to add emergency night shelter space in Victoria

Collaborative effort with Victoria Cool Aid Society adds 20 beds

Two organizations with a storied history of helping the homeless have come together to create more shelter beds in downtown Victoria.

Our Place Society Victoria has leased Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Downtown Community Centre at 755 Pandora Ave. for use as a temporary night shelter, with funding provided by BC Housing.

Eleven people took advantage of the space on Sunday night, although it is expected the total will grow to full capacity as the region moves into more severe winter weather. The building’s gymnasium provides sleeping space for 20 people following proper COVID protocols.

With the COVID-19 pandemic greatly reducing the number of shelter beds available in Victoria, finding more winter shelter has been a priority, Leah Young, director of housing and shelter for Our Place said in a media release. “And when space became available downtown, we quickly made a plan to staff it,” Young said.

Our Place CEO Julian Daly said that after working with Cool Aid and BC Housing at Muncey Place, formerly the Comfort Inn, the society was pleased to discover that there was space available downtown that Our Place could manage.

Kathy Stinson, CEO of Victoria Cool Aid Society, said that Victoria is a unique place in terms of serving a displaced population. “We all want to lift up people who are suffering through hard times, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with Our Place to make this a reality.”

Founded in 1968, Victoria Cool Aid Society advocates for and provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, meals, integrated health care, and other support services for about 12,000 adults and seniors facing a variety of challenges. Visit canadahelps.org for more information or to donate.

Our Place, which has grown to nine locations since 2007, serves Victoria’s working poor and impoverished elderly, including people struggling with homelessness, mental health challenges, and substance use issues. Find more information or make a donation at ourplacesociety.com.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

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