Nancy is one of about 10 people who moved into the shelter on its opening day, and more were trickling in Tuesday morning. Outreach workers welcomed them with intake forms, going over the shelter’s rules barring physical violence, weapons, sexual harassment, verbal abuse and drug use in a two-block radius outside of the property, among other expectations.
Our Place staff are planning on assembling a “clean team” of shelter residents who are interested in picking up litter from the surrounding neighbourhood, and two people have already expressed interest, Mingo said.
Shelter design and management are aimed at mitigating the risk of drug overdose, with communal areas where people are encouraged to use in the presence of someone else and shower doors that include a small communication area that allows staff to speak to and hear residents inside without seeing them.
Staff will check on people using the shower units after 10 minutes, and if they don’t get a response, they’ll go inside to see how they’re doing, Mingo said.
Our Place staff will be on site 24/7, and outreach workers from PEERS Victoria Resources Society and AVI Health and Community Services will provide some daytime harm-reduction support.
Residents are also asked to provide information about what substances they use, how they use them and how often, to give staff a sense of residents’ baselines and what signs of distress to look out for.
While the shelter has space for about 70 people, the capacity is currently limited by the province to 30, Mingo said.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 05 May 2021 - 05:52 AM.