Choices transitional home in View Royal seeks expansion

Our Place Society to meet with View Royal residents

Choices Transitional Home in View Royal is looking at adding 30 residents and extending the deadline for operation to March 31, 2017.

Grant McKenzie, communications director for Our Place Society, which operates Choices, said a public meeting has been scheduled to provide an opportunity for View Royal residents to speak about the proposed changes. The meeting is on June 13 at 7 p.m. at View Royal Town Hall, 45 View Royal Ave.

Choices Transitional Home, in the former youth custody centre on Talcott Road, opened on February 23 to provide living space for some of the region’s homeless. It currently houses 50 people and provides three meals a day, shower and laundry services, as well as access to the art and exercise rooms. It was originally slated to operate until the end of August.

View Royal Mayor David Screech said there has been a minimal number of calls and no major incidents so far. “Some residents have concerns, so the meeting will be a good opportunity to address those, and I encourage people to attend. Quite often with these types of situations, the perception is far worse than what’s actually going on.”

Council will address any requests for an extension during the next few weeks, he added.

McKenzie said about 60 per cent of the residents live inside, while the remainder prefer to use the tents erected in the courtyard.

Any increase in capacity or extension would require additional funding from the province to cover the cost of increases in staff, McKenzie noted.

“We have also been in discussion with Island Health about converting part of the building into a detox centre and sober living facility,” McKenzie said.

He also invited the community to a Choices residents art show, barbecue and silent auction Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. at 94 Talcott Rd.