An upcoming basketball tournament is forcing B.C. Housing to relocate 43 temporary shelter residents from the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre to a vacant Saanich hospital.
The centre was secured as a shelter site on a four-month lease in late January and, at the time, B.C. Housing said a lease extension was a possibility pending discussions with the centre’s owner, GSL group. But, on Monday, it was announced the centre is needed for hosting the International Basketball Federation Olympic Qualifying Tournament, June 29 to July 4.
The Mount Tolmie Hospital shelter, located at 3690 Richmond Rd., will be a big step up in terms of privacy and stability, said David Eby, Attorney General and minister responsible for housing. The site has been secured for 12 months and, instead of sleeping in open-air pods, residents will get their own rooms.
The same supports will also be available in the new location, including daily meals and 24/7 staffing offered by Portland Hotel Society Community Services Society, and harm reduction and clinical services supplied by Island Health.
More information on the new site can be found at letstalkhousingbc.ca. B.C. Housing says it will be engaging with the community over the next few weeks to address any questions.
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