Dozens gather to remember beloved Victoria panhandler with emotional memorial
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Victoria task force proposes outreach team to help city’s most vulnerable
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Activists battling to prevent closing of Victoria rooming house
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This year the City of Victoria’s participatory budgeting process focused its theme on improving the lives of youth in our City!

Through your votes, the votes of 5,000 people in our community, Emily Jackson the Coalition’s Prevention of Youth Homelessness Coordinator and the youth group: Youth Educating and Advocating About Homelessness (#YEAH), were voted in as one of five project winners able to receive a share of 55,000$ from the City of Victoria.

Since its creation, the YEAH group has worked to better the lives of at-risk youth, inspired by their own lived experience of homelessness. Together, through youth consultations, they discovered the needs of vulnerable youth and are prepared to address them with the project, ‘“What we Need” – Youth Homelessness Prevention’.

To learn more about this exciting project click here: https://cvyc.ca/pb/what-we-need-prevention-of-youth-homelessness/

Check out photos from this special day below:

Three peninsula mayors unite in an effort to end homelessness.
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Rapid and substantial progress towards a region without homelessness is in reach, says mayors
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In advance of the BC General Local Elections on October 20, 2018, the Downtown Service Providers* have circulated the following questions on housing and homelessness to candidates for mayor, councillor and CRD director in all 13 municipalities of the capital regional district.

All received responses are posted in spreadsheets linked below. If there is no link for your municipality, no responses were submitted and you are encouraged to ask your candidates for their answers directly. Responses have been posted as they arrived and have not been corrected for spelling, language use, etc.

Municipalities

  Questions

  1. What responsibility do you think local governments have to address the safety and public health hazards faced by individuals in our community who are unhoused and living on the streets or in parks?  Are there any specific actions or initiatives that you would support or oppose?
  2. What is your understanding of the barriers encountered by the Indigenous people experiencing homelessness to access secure housing, and what actions do you think municipal government can implement to assist organizations like the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) to address these barriers?
  3. The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness has made the following recommendations to regional and municipal governments in its Phase 2, Year 2 Community Plan:
    • Engage with community agencies and people with lived experience of homelessness in identifying and developing homelessness, housing and support services solutions
    • Prioritize the development of housing options for individuals experiencing and at-imminent risk of homelessness
    • Reduce the costs of developing and operating non-profit housing by reducing or waiving property taxes and municipal fees
    • Set a minimum number of affordable units to be included in each development, or set equivalent funding contributions to a municipal affordable housing fundDo you support these recommendations? If so, what specific actions are you prepared to take to implement them? If not, why not?
  4. Do you think it is acceptable at land use committee meetings or public hearings for people to ask questions about or comment on the economic or health status of individuals who may live in the developments under consideration? If yes, why? If not, what actions will you take to prevent this?
  5. What role do you think local governments should take regarding harm reduction initiatives such as Overdose Prevention Units and Supervised Consumption sites?  Are there any specific actions or initiatives that you would support or oppose?

NOTES:

The Downtown Service Providers Committee is comprised of service providers operating in Victoria’s downtown core, or serving populations in the downtown core, that have been meeting monthly since 2002 to share information, coordinate activities, and develop collaborative strategies to address the needs in the downtown core. Membership includes representatives of service delivery organizations, city council, city staff, police, and local businesses, as well as funding, advocacy and social policy agencies.

For information about General Local Elections, please visit the Elections BC Website.

You can contact your local civic government office to check if you are registered to vote.

Today is World Homeless Day, which this year coincides with a campaign period for local elections in British Columbia. If homelessness and housing are important considerations for you in this election, here are some helpful questions for candidates:

  • What responsibility do you think local governments have to address the safety and public health hazards faced by individuals in our community who are unhoused and living on the streets or in parks?  Are there any specific actions or initiatives that you would support or oppose?
  • What is your understanding of the barriers encountered by the Indigenous people experiencing homelessness to access secure housing, and what actions do you think municipal government can implement to assist organizations like the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) to address these barriers?
  • The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness has made the following recommendations to regional and municipal governments in its Phase 2, Year 2 Community Plan:
    • Engage with community agencies and people with lived experience of homelessness in identifying and developing homelessness, housing and support services solutions
    • Prioritize the development of housing options for individuals experiencing and at-imminent risk of homelessness
    • Reduce the costs of developing and operating non-profit housing by reducing or waiving property taxes and municipal fees
    • Set a minimum number of affordable units to be included in each development, or set equivalent funding contributions to a municipal affordable housing fund

Do you support these recommendations? If so, what specific actions are you prepared to take to implement them? If not, why not?

  • Do you think it is acceptable at land use committee meetings or public hearings for people to ask questions about or comment on the economic or health status of individuals who may live in the developments under consideration? If yes, why? If not, what actions will you take to prevent this?
  • What role do you think local governments should take regarding harm reduction initiatives such as Overdose Prevention Units and Supervised Consumption sites?  Are there any specific actions or initiatives that you would support or oppose?

NOTES:

Thank you to the Downtown Service Providers (an ad hoc committee of housing, social support, business, faith and other concerned organizations operating in the core of Victoria) for compiling and sharing these questions.

For information about General Local Elections, please visit the Elections BC Website.

You can contact your local civic government office to check if you are registered to vote.

Our Place is getting a new mural – watch the progress on Vital People. Read more

Live-aboards on the Gorge are soon to be no longer, raising concerns about where the at-risk residents will go. Read more

In Crisis?:

If you require urgent emotional support, including having thoughts of suicide and other mental health issues, please call Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888.

Youth (under 25 years of age) may access youthspace.ca for online emotional support.

For other resources, including shelter availability, visit bc211.ca