Emergency shelter slated for winter months

Local church will house homeless people on cold nights

Sooke’s homeless may have a warm place to stay on a cold winter night, after community members demonstrated a strong interest in starting up an emergency shelter program.

About 20 residents showed up to the Greater Victoria Extreme Weather Response workshop at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort on Oct. 23.

The meeting covered the possibility of introducing emergency shelters that house the homeless overnight during harsh weather conditions to Sooke.

Jen Book, Greater Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol regional co-ordinator, identified a need in Sooke after eight homeless people were transported by car to a Victoria shelter during a snowstorm last year.

“When you’re trying to deal with an emergency response, you want to be able to respond where they are,” Book said.

“It could be a situation where we could have a certain amount of snow on the ground, you don’t want to be driving around to try to get them into a shelter.”

She added the purpose is also to keep people in municipalities with services they are familiar with.

In order to get a program started in Sooke, community members, including faith-based organizations, community service non-profits, local politicians and members of the police and fire department, will have to get together and form a response plan.

The response plan will determine logistics like shelter activation triggers, hours of operation and procedural information.

For example, the Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol opens shelter doors when the Weather Network forecasts sleet, freezing rain, snow, sustained winds and sub-zero temperatures.

The shelters, which are in Saanich and Victoria, are activated between November and March.

The program started in January 2004.

Book said the program in Sooke will hopefully start this winter, with 20 to 25 beds.

The Sooke Christian Life Assembly has offered their facility for a local emergency shelter, but that has not been officiated.

Youth under the age of 19 will still have to be transported to youth shelters in Victoria.

The program, if the budget is approved, will be funded by BC Housing. Funds will be provided for costs like laundry, staff wages, volunteer honorariums and food.

To visit the Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol website, visit: www.vewp.net.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Sooke council has sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy calling for a province-wide ban on the use of rat poison. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke calls for ban on rat poison across B.C.

Letter of support follows similar move by City of North Vancouver

What was previously thought to be a flu shot fraud was actually a booking error, West Shore RCMP confirmed Jan. 27. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: Flu shot fraud actually booking error by Colwood London Drugs

West Shore RCMP previously said error was work of fraudsters

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

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

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read