Smooth sailing so far for Sooke temporary homeless shelter

‘When people have their basic needs met, it is remarkable what can happen,’ says official

  • May. 7, 2020 3:30 p.m.

Dawn Gibson | Sooke News Mirror

The temporary homeless shelter at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex is having a lot of success, organizers say.

Jen Wilde, homelessness programs coordinator for the Sooke Region Communities Health Network and director of operations for the COVID-19 response isolation shelter in Sooke, said occupants have been doing their best to be good neighbours, and positive things are coming from the space.

“We are seeing a real buy in from individuals using the space, picking up garbage around the area, cleaning up, and supporting the process,” said Wilde, adding she is happy with how things have been going.

The temporary shelter is operated by the Sooke Region Communities Health Network, with B.C. Housing, regional health authorities and municipal governments, who developed the emergency space as a community response plan for the pandemic.

ALSO READ: Sooke rec centre to provide self-isolation space for homeless people

Wilde said before this plan was set in place, the SRCHN reached out to the Sooke homeless population, assessed what the need was in Sooke, and based its plan off that.

It’s set to be operational until June 30, and aims to provide the ability to self-isolate for Sooke’s homeless population, or residents at risk of homelessness.

The shelter has stirred up mixed emotions among residents, some who took to social media to share positive reinforcement towards the project, while others expressed disapproval. However, Wilde reassures the public that things are going well.

“When people have their basic needs met, it is remarkable what can happen,” said Wilde.

ALSO READ: Online petition launched against Sooke homeless shelter

Meanwhile, the True Key Hotels & Resorts have stepped up to offer locals and designated workers a place to self-isolate, work, or rest, at discounted daily, weekly or monthly rates at the Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina and at Sooke Point Ocean Cottage Resort.

“True Key recognizes the unprecedented challenges facing our residents,” said Michael Anderson, president of True Key in a press release. “We are pleased to offer discounted accommodations to those needing to quarantine, self-isolate, or meet work demands.

“True Key is here to support our community and our neighbours.”

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