(Image / Victoria Cool Aid Society Facebook)

The Victoria Cool Aid Society has been serving the city’s homeless and impoverished community for over five decades now, and last year was the busiest the organization has ever seen.

According to the charitable society’s 2018-19 Annual Report, the number of people helped and financial costs of operation have never been higher.

See also: Victoria’s Cool Aid to host Canada/US Community Health Centers conference

Last year, over 12,000 people were helped by the society throughout the CRD.

These 12,000 individuals include 1,550 people who were sheltered in 19 different Cool Aid properties, 565 who have been permanently housed and supported, 215 people who have been saved from overdoses, and those who sit down for the nearly 1,000 meals served every single day.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of medical and dental appointments were conducted by 45 volunteer health and dental professionals.

In total, over 7,000 people in need benefited from 43,750 medical and dental appointments, while another 2,331 counselling appointments were scheduled and 8,047 Resource Centre drop-ins were received.

While the highest number of people were supported by the Cool Aid society last year since its inception in 1968, operating costs have also reached their a new peak.

The organizations expenses were over $29.9 million last year, with the majority dedicated to housing, health, and support service costs.

See also: Cool Aid’s new downtown Victoria mural designed to evoke a sense of hope and home

Cool Aid was able to cover their expenses through a range of revenue sources, including government funding (which accounts for roughly 60% of their budget) and community donations, which accounted for approximately 6% of the organizations funds.

“Our philosophy at Support Services is to try to help every person who walks in the door without preconditions or judgement,” reads the report.

“None of these support programs, serving hundreds weekly, would be possible without the
ongoing, generous support we receive from individuals, foundations and corporations, and some Provincial and City of Victoria funding.”