An image of the BC Legislature building on a sunny day.

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness notes with hope the provincial government’s commitments to increase supports for people experiencing homelessness – particularly its commitments to youth.

The 2022 Budget commits $35 million over the next three years to respond to the heightened risk of homelessness faced by former youth in care. The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness hopes to see this commitment ­- which includes permanent housing, rent supplements, and expanded support services like life-skills programming and counselling – rolled out across the Capital Region. The province’s pledge aligns with knowledge gained from The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness’s 2018 Point in Time count, which found that more than half of respondents had first experienced homelessness as a youth and more than 40 per cent of respondents had their first experience of homelessness when they were under 18 years old.

The government’s promise to expand supports for youth beyond their 19th birthday is a vital step in the right direction. Youth leaving government care often enter homelessness within one year. More shockingly, 35 per cent are homeless in less than one month.

“From consultations with our Youth Task Force, we know that early intervention is critical,” says Janine Theobald, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness director of collaborative engagement. “Young people who bridge the youth and adult age brackets need housing and emotional support, plus services that meet them where they’re at. Investing in youth may be the difference in preventing lifelong experiences of chronic homelessness.”

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is also excited by the opportunity presented by the allocation of $100 million for the Community Housing Fund, as well as investments to double the current number of community integration specialists. But even though these investments are critical, so too is the need for a budget that helps people to not only remain housed but become included members of their community. Eviction prevention and community inclusion requires ongoing, peer-based support, cultural services, and reliable, ongoing, and integrated support services. Funding is necessary to ensure these specialized support services are researched, developed, piloted, and implemented to meet the unique social and cultural needs of priority population groups.

Though more is needed, the province’s inclusion of funding for homelessness response and prevention in the 2022 budget is a sign of hope that our government is beginning to acknowledge the root systemic causes of the ongoing homelessness crisis. As we wait to see if and how these investments will be rolled out, The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness will continue to advocate for the tangible action-based system changes and supports needed to reach functional zero in the Capital Region.

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The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is a partnership of local service providers, non-profit organizations, all levels of government, and the business, post-secondary, and faith communities.



For more information:

Nina Grossman

Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness


News Release

VICTORIA, BC – (March 5th, 2021) – In less than 3 months time, the citizens and local businesses of Victoria have come together to raise more than $500,000 to fund the capital expenses for 30 transitional housing units to be built from repurposed shipping containers. Set to be located at 940 Caledonia Ave., this tiny home community will provide safe, warm and secure conditions for some of our community’s most vulnerable currently sheltering outside, unhoused.

“This is the vision and commitment we have been looking for in Victoria, thank you so much for bringing help and dignity to our street populations,” said one anonymous donor. “I hope housing for the homeless is changed forever by this pandemic in a positive way; everyone deserves a roof over their head and food in their belly, ” said another.

“I want to sincerely thank everyone who has donated to this project, whether it is $25 or $25,000,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “At this time when there is so much division around the issue of homelessness and some vocal stigma against people who are poor and living without homes in our community, it is amazing and so hopeful to see our community come together to pitch in and build homes for their neighbours.”

Once built, the transitional tiny home community will be operated by Our Place, an experienced housing provider focused on addressing the residents’ physical, mental health, addiction, housing, income and employment needs on their pathway to permanent housing.

Each unit in the community is approximately 100 sq. ft. and is fully heated, ventilated and insulated for optimal breathability and livability. Designed to include a bed, side table, desk with chair, small fridge, and an armoire, all units are move-in ready and turn-key for the residents. Shared washroom and shower facilities will be located within the enclosed community, along with storage, flex space and on-site office space for the 24/7 operations staff.

“I want to express my profound appreciation to the many members of our amazing Greater Victoria community that have supported the fundraising efforts for the Tiny Homes Project,” said Kelly Roth, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.  “The ‘Hey Neighbour’ project has provided the opportunity to demonstrate that Victoria is a place where everyone belongs and all are welcome,” said Roth.

Aryze Developments has proceeded to submit the Temporary Use Permit application, with support from Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. Yesterday Council unanimously voted to send Hey Neighbour to Public Hearing on March 18th, which is the final step in authorizing the Temporary Use Permit.

“As homebuilders, we have a responsibility to provide diverse housing solutions for all citizens – especially our community’s most vulnerable,” said Luke Mari of Aryze Developments. “Thanks to the generous community contributions over the last few months, we are honoured to be moving into our traditional role as constructor, so the experienced team at Our Place can bring this innovative concept to life.”


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For More Information:

Clare Pugh, Communications Coordinator, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness

Unit 211 – 611 Discovery St.

Victoria, BC V8T 5G4



Melanie Ransome, Communications Manager, Aryze Developments

1839 Fairfield Rd.

Victoria, BC, V8S 1G9

(250) 661-2619

News release

Victoria’s first youth-led social enterprise model
Will house youth experiencing homelessness

VICTORIA, BC – (January 27, 2020) – Victoria’s first youth-led social enterprise housing model will initially welcome 12 youth experiencing homelessness and/or aging out of care into innovative supportive housing this month. The goal is to engage, employ, and house 25 to 30 youth experiencing chronic or marginal homelessness who are interested in co-designing an innovative housing model.

Fifteen staff with special competencies are now onsite and ready to meet the youth regardless of their personal circumstance, as the intake process begins for this project. To protect youth’s privacy the address of the housing site will not be released.

“This initiative allows for unparalleled community involvement in research, and places youth squarely in the driver’s seat by taking them seriously as agents of change within their own lives,” said Jarvis Neglia, Project Manager of Research for the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. “It’s vital to invest in empowering young people experiencing homelessness to change their own lives through collective learning and action.”

For the past three years, a collaboration of local community agencies, government, and funders have participated in the Youth Task Force to discuss factors relating to youth homelessness in Greater Victoria. Local data and the review of national and international models of best practice have informed the development of this housing initiative.

The Province, through BC Housing, in partnership with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, will provide operating funding for this project.

“It is critical that young people experiencing homelessness have a safe place to live with supports,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “I commend all the partners for developing this innovative model, which will have a significant impact on the lives of youth in Victoria for years to come.”

The Youth Leadership Research Team (YLRT), a team of five youth with recent lived experience of homelessness, were hired to inform each stage of the development process of the housing project. Moving forward the youth on-site will co-design the program within the housing site.

“Insecure housing early in life is something we would refer to as an “adverse childhood experience”, or ACE. Without adequate supports and care, ACEs can set people up for difficulties later on in terms of both physical and mental health,” said Dr. Colette Smart, registered psychologist, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria, and trauma researcher. “Stable housing is at the core of everything – without that, it is very hard to work on other important life goals such as building friendships, seeking meaningful work, and developing one’s identity.”

Youth will have the opportunity to access mentors and coaches to support their journey out of homelessness through arts, business, community, and university partnerships. Training for residents will be provided in research ethics, methods, and design, and the youth on-site will have the opportunity to work with research experts to develop innovative approaches to address trauma and other impacts of homelessness.

“When choices are always prescribed, youth feel unprepared to enter adulthood. This project supports youth by prioritizing autonomy through self-assessment and discovery,” said Emily Jackson, Prevention of Youth Homelessness Coordinator for GVCEH and former youth in care.


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About the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is a backbone organization of local housing, health and social service providers; non-profit organizations; all levels of government; businesses; educational institutions; and the faith community in the Capital Region of British Columbia. The Coalition’s mission is to create a region without homelessness. They achieve this by ensuring appropriate solutions are in place to serve individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in the region, and by ensuring all people facing homelessness in the Capital Region have access to safe, affordable, appropriate, long-term housing.


For more information or to arrange an interview:

Clare Pugh

Communications Coordinator

Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness

(250) 507-7903

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 for online emotional support.

For other resources, including shelter availability, visit