Coalition outlines plans to house region’s homeless

Affordable, supporting housing strategies reach CRD board table

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is aiming for big results with its long-awaited Community Plan, released Tuesday.

The five-year plan outlines how to use the $60 million in regional and municipal funding to permanently house 441 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness through better service integration while prioritizing individuals based on need, and in co-operation with the Regional Housing First Program and other partners.

In brief, the report says the region should take the first important steps toward ensuring all individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in the Capital Region have access to safe, affordable, appropriate, long-term housing options along with the support needed to sustain it. The Phase 1 report relies on the coalition’s 2015 study, Creating Homes, Enhancing Communities (CHEC), as a framework, estimating 367 to 479 individuals in the region experience chronic homelessness.

The plan was approved by the CRD finance committee, which includes Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell and Couns. Susan Brice, Vic Derman and Colin Plant, at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I think it’s a great way to move on, it will make a big difference with this five-year plan,” said Coun. Vicki Sanders, who is on the coalition’s board of directors. “It’s a great value to the community. The goal is still to eliminate homelessness in 2018, which may not be possible, but it’s close, we’re eventually getting to that point.”

So far in 2106 the province has acquired several facilities for housing, all within the borders of Victoria, spending $6.5 million on the 50-unit Super 8 Motel on Douglas Street, $11 million on the 140-unit Central Care Home on Johnson Street, and $3.65 million on the 40-unit Mount Edwards Court Care Home on Vancouver Street. There was also 50 shelter units opened at the Victoria Youth Custody Centre.

In addition, there are two more housing projects coming online soon in Saanich, both of which were once priorities for the coalition, the 45-unit Cottage Grove (3207 Quadra St.) supportive housing for seniors at risk of homelessness, and the 41-unit Rosalie’s Village (4349 West Saanich Rd.) for at-risk moms with children and older women who are also at-risk or experiencing homelessness.

The immediate steps for the Community Plan are to house 175 chronically homeless people in Greater Victoria using existing supportive housing, and better service integration and client prioritization. It also calls on 133 new units for supported housing of individuals and another 133 new units for affordable housing for individuals looking to exit supportive housing. The latter two would be organized in part with the Regional Housing First Program, which puts individuals into housing regardless of what addictions they suffer, and permits drug and alcohol use with a strategy of providing additional resources and support once the individuals are housed.

The plan will go to the CRD board on Sept. 14.

“The fact is this has a clear path, the objectives are there. It’s not a case of, what’s the flavour of the month, it’s a true plan,” Sanders said. “I don’t know what Phase 2 would be in five years, but hopefully Phase 2 would not solely be about creating [units] to get homeless off the street, but serving the needs that come about at that time.”

 

 

Just Posted

In and out in 60 seconds, two suspects get away with $10,000 worth of jewelry after break-in at WestShore Gold and Silver

Langford business broken into just down the street from West Shore RCMP detachment

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

Victoria career fair highlights opportunities in film industry

Reel Careers in Film and Media fair set for Dec. 7 at Camosun’s Interurban campus

Imagination and Christmas spirit combine at Sooke Festival of Trees

Sooke’s festival part of a larger fund raising effort for Children’s Hospital

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

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

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Threats to the Fraser River at ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Grandparents raising children: Shuswap grandma sees need for support

Peer group formed for those who have unexpectedly taken on the role of parenting

Final appeal rejected for man convicted in deaths of missing Alberta seniors

Lyle and Marie McCann were in their 70s when they left their home in St. Albert in 2010 and vanished

Most Read