The new temporary indoor shelter to house people currently camping at Ed Macgregor Park will be ready for occupancy by July 30. (Pixabay)

Temporary shelter ready for homeless by Friday in Sooke

The shelter will be staffed 24/7, including security and cameras

Rick Stiebel | Sooke News Mirror

The new temporary indoor shelter to house people currently camping at Ed Macgregor Park will be ready for occupancy by July 30, the District of Sooke has confirmed.

Although the original plan was for July 20, improvements needed to the building at John Phillips Memorial Park caused the move to be delayed until the end of the month, Norm McInnis, District of Sooke CAO, said.

Mary Dunn, chair of Sooke Communities Health Network, said in a media release, the move is the result of a lot of hard work by many people.

RELATED: Advocacy groups seek to provide long-lasting support for Sooke’s homeless population

She expressed gratitude to the Sooke Shelter Society, Sooke Food Bank, Island Health, area physicians, pharmacies, and the community at large for their efforts.

In response to community concerns, mostly regarding safety, there will be shelter staff on-site 24/7 and extra security, including cameras, thanks to funding from B.C. Housing, Dunn noted.

Many of the concerns have been alleviated during the past month when the homeless transitioned from SEAPARC Leisure Complex to Ed Macgregor Park, as people in the community gained a better understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by Sooke’s small homeless community, Dunn said.

“They got to know those camping in the park and got to know some of the reasons why their life has taken some of the turns it has – they have more empathy.”

Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Brett Sinden said the RCMP has been working with the individuals in the community for some time and have not had to respond to any significant calls at SEAPARC or Ed Macgregor Park.

The early days of the pandemic brought together vulnerable individuals at SEAPARC, which provided them with access to food and medical attention. That enabled them to get the help they need because access workers knew where to find them, Sinden said in a media release.

The availability of wraparound services is critical from a community safety perspective because it mitigates the need to engage in illegal activities that affect others negatively, Sinden said.

Two meals a day will be provided at the new shelter as well as access to all of the services that were provided at SEAPARC.

Dunn said no single factor led vulnerable residents to the shelter, although the COVID pandemic moved the issue of homelessness in Sooke to the forefront.

“Yet while their stories, ages, genders, and backgrounds may all be different, one thing is a constant at the shelter,” Dunn said.

“We accept people where they’re at currently. When they know, there is that care, and their basic needs are going to be met, that stability means they can look three to four weeks down the road rather than hour to hour.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Sooke minor hockey set to get kids on ice by mid-September

President says re-opening dependent on SEAPARC installing ice in time

Gathering marks 10 years since nearly 500 asylum-seekers landed off Victoria shore

The 492 people fleeing violence, war crimes and genocide in Sri Lanka were detained for months

VicPD responding to robbery suspect barricaded in building on Cook Street

Residents are asked to avoid the 2300-block of Cook Street

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Edward Milne students clean up Whiffen Spit

Volunteers find styrofoam, cigarette butts and a single shoe

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 11

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

Filmmaker James Cameron’s Comox Valley winery up for sale

The director behind The Terminator and Titanic puts Beaufort Winery on the market after six years

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

Most Read