Our Place Society has a courtyard where patrons can leave their things but it is uncovered and unsupervised, prompting many people to avoid using Extreme Weather Protocol shelter space and instead stay outdoors. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Extreme Weather Protocol activated in Victoria for 10th day in a row

More shelter beds open to the region’s homeless population

Heavy snow and cold temperatures have kept the Extreme Weather Protocol (EWP) active since Feb. 3, resulting in more than enough beds and mats for those seeking shelter.

The Extreme Weather Protocol will activate if there is heavy rain, wind or snow or if temperatures hit 0 C or below.

On Tuesday night alone, shelters across the Capital Region opened their doors and saw 388 people come in.

“We’re seemingly meeting the needs of the people accessing shelters,” said Jennifer Wilde, regional co-ordinator of EWP. “That’s across all regular emergency shelters, extreme weather shelters, temporary shelters and youth sites.”

ALSO READ: With 60 shelter beds inside, some homeless opt to sleep in the snow

The emergency shelters opened up at the Salvation Army, at Rock Bay, Our Place and the Juan de Fuca Electoral District, offering an additional 92 mats. These sites are all “Tier 1” designated sites, while Tier 2 sites are backup spaces offering an additional 30 mats.

“We opened up the second tier in case we needed the space, but we didn’t need it,” Wilde said. “The open shelters have been thinking of accommodating people, and have been much more lenient about access to shelters, which is good.”

Wilde noted that despite the available beds, many people choose to stay outside. The most common reason for this decision, she’s been told, is a fear for people’s possessions.

ALSO READ: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and Our Place bring extreme weather shelter to Sooke

“Gear is a huge problem, there’s nowhere for people to store their stuff,” Wilde said.

Others feel more comfortable when there are less people around, she added.

Regardless of the reasons, people staying inside or outside of the shelters at night can still access the services during the day. Wilde noted in harsh weather donations are needed more than ever.

“Donations are still coming in, but it’s tough with the road conditions being so bad,” she said. “We need stuff. If people have extra toques, mitts, scarves, jackets, snow pants, we could definitely use it.”

The EWP is activated for this evening.

For more information, you can visit vewp.net.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Snow

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

Just Posted

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

Crime stats show a shift in Oak Bay during COVID-19

Thefts from automobiles, marinas up this spring

Eight people arrested on Pandora Avenue after enforcement order issued

Those living in homeless camps were given until May 20 to move indoors

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Colwood eyes upgrades to recreation area near Lookout Lake Dam

Upgrades to dam estimated to be complete before end of year

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read