The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will be opening up as a 45-bed emergency response centre to house people moving from the encampments on Pandora Avenue and Topaz Park.
The shelter is set to open in the coming days, once all staff are in place. The site is one of the first in B.C. to use pop-up pods to provide privacy for those staying there.
BC Housing is partnering with PHS Community Services Society to operate the centre, which will receive people referred by Island Health and BC Housing. An effort will be made to keep couples and groups of people who wish to stay together, in one place.
People staying in the arena will have access to meals, washrooms, health-care services, addiction treatments and harm reduction, along with storage for personal belongings and other supports.
In addition, BC Housing has also partnered with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness to open 12 temporary shelter spaces at a different location to provide culturally supportive services to Indigenous peoples.