As the colder weather rolls in, three councillors are hoping to revamp the city’s emergency shelter program for the region’s most vulnerable.
“If we turned the extreme weather response shelters into seasonal winter shelters, that would solve the problem. Just keep the doors open,” said Krista Loughton, Victoria councillor.
Instead of being tied to snow accumulation and specific temperatures, in a motion to council Thursday, Loughton is pitching to have shelter spaces opened permanently through the winter.
“I was at one of the extreme weather response shelters last year speaking with a man. He was sleeping behind the Thrifty’s in James Bay and he woke up and couldn’t move. He was frozen. I think that’s when the idea started percolating in me, ‘Why don’t we keep these shelters open every night?’ It was cold last night and it was 14 degrees,” said Loughton.
“This could potentially help with the disorder we’re seeing and also the suffering when people don’t have a shelter over the winter.”
Based on Sunday’s recent windstorm, Angela Dick, who has been homeless for just two months living in Vic West Park, isn’t looking forward to her first winter living in a tent.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 25 September 2023 - 06:06 PM.