People demonstrate at the tent city camp on the Victoria Law Courts property in 2015. The province moved some campers into nearby Mount Edward Court after purchasing the former care home last year, and a new proposal before the city calls for the facility to become supportive housing for nearly 100 middle-aged and older individuals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Mount Edward supportive housing plan right for Victoria

Despite housing a larger number than currently on site, this proposal makes sense

Victoria council wants to see what could happen if a temporary housing facility and tent city solution is transformed into more targeted supportive accommodation.

The purchase and repurposing last year of one-time seniors home Mount Edwards Court by the province could be characterized as a move to show compassion to the homeless community and demonstrate to the public who was in charge. But the speed with which that plan was put in place made it obvious it was not a long-term solution.

B.C. Housing’s proposal to have the Victoria Cool-Aid Society operate what would become a supportive and, to a degree, subsidized facility for middle age and older tenants makes sense. It’s the logical next stage in giving people struggling with poverty, mental illness or addictions or other health challenges a hand up.

Cool Aid has built a solid reputation over the past decades working with homeless individuals in the downtown, helping find them transitional or more permanent housing and providing pathways to a more stable life.

The details and criteria for this project are being hammered out and require more input from the neighbourhood. Residents, as well as the operators of Christ Church Cathedral School across Rockland Avenue, have valid concerns about their proximity to a facility that would primarily house people who have been on society’s fringes.

That has been the case since last year. But this version of Mount Edward will hopefully come with more ongoing oversight and permanent staffing, perhaps similar to the model Our Place has used and improved upon since it opened.

Mount Edward, which offers as good a location as can be found for this type of facility, has served a valuable transitional role since last year. Those who were given a place to live by the province have been a part of a system that aims to help those most in need.

It’s time to fine-tune that help and steer these individuals toward further personal growth and independence.

Just Posted

Sooke Road crash shuts down Monday afternoon traffic

Minivan apparently crossed the center line and crashed into a very large truck

U.S. student killed in Bamfield bus crash remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Sooke’s ‘Stonehenge’ gets a rocky reception

Structure intended to accommodate memorial plaques

Malahat backs up after truck crashes through concrete barrier

Hydro poles taken out in Monday afternoon crash

UPDATE: One man dies in Saanich collision

Police are asking people to avoid the intersection at Cumberland and Union roads

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Most Read