At least 250 people are still sleeping outside in Victoria as options for suitable shelters run out.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the city, along with BC Housing and Island Health are still working on finding facilities for shelter after ruling out the Victoria Curling Club and Crystal Pool.
“[We’re] trying to turn every stone over [but] we’re running out of options,” she said during her daily COVID-19 update on April 1, adding that service providers would be looking at other municipalities for sheltering options.
Helps said she hopes that when the pandemic is declared over, that people being housed in hotel rooms and other sheltering options wouldn’t be turned back out on the street but could not provide a clear answer.
In addition to addressing sheltering options, Helps encouraged residents to check out Victoria’s artist in residence Kathryn Calder’s live stream concert taking place on April 3. Calder, who has spent the last 15 years recording and touring as a vocalist with the indie rock group The New Pornographers, will play a full 30 minute set from her home starting at 7:30 p.m.
To watch the live stream visit youtube.com/user/KathrynCalder.
Helps also reminded residents that they can support local businesses by purchasing gift cards at supportlocalyyj.com. The site has been set up to waive all administration fees, so the full amount of the gift card goes straight to the local business.
News from the province:
BC Hydro is offering a three-month bill credit for residential customers and small businesses who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ability of mines, mills and other industrial users to defer half of their bills for three months.
— With files from Tom Fletcher