As the city grapples with more than 20 centimetres of snow, Victoria shelters are reminding the community that there are many ways to give back to the most vulnerable populations.
Once the Emergency Weather Protocol (EWP) is in place, Our Place Society opens an additional 72 mats for overnight use.
“We bring in more casual staff. So that puts a strain our resources financially,” said Grant Mckenzie, director of communications at Our Place Society.
“Whenever we open these shelters it’s all hands to the pump,” he added. “We are always looking for volunteers, especially volunteers that we can call in when we need.”
The Victoria Cool Aid Society sees more demand on its services during snowy days too.
“We couldn’t do it without community support,” said Alan Rycroft, community relations manager for the Victoria Cool Aid Society.
While donations of warm clothing (hats, gloves, coats, water-resistant gear and warm socks) are always needed, both organizations said monetary donations go a long way – especially during cold winters.
The donations help the Cool Aid Society afford things such as community dinners and bus tickets for clients, said Rycroft, adding that he has seen more donations trickle in over the last few cold days.
Those who are able to drop off clothing or food donations can do so at the Rock Bay Landing shelter location (555 Ellis St.), which accepts donations within reasonable hours.