Photo by BC Housing
Photo provided by BC Housing

Nearly 50 people sheltering at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria will be moved to a new temporary facility, starting today.

The province confirmed it has secured a 12-month lease at the unused Mount Tolmie Hospital on Cedar Hill Cross Road and Richmond Road in Saanich.

The relocation was put in motion after the arena’s lease was not extended – due to an international basketball tournament taking place there on June 29th.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Olympic Qualifying Tournament is scheduled to take place at the Save-on-Foods Memorial arena from June 29th to July 4th.

Beginning today, BC Housing will begin to move 43 residents to Mount Tolmie Hospital and other existing housing sites in the region.

“We’ve seen first-hand the positive impact safe and secure shelter have on people experiencing homelessness, as well as the broader community,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing.

“We have worked hard over the last year to move people living outdoors inside and we don’t want to send people back to living on the streets. This new Mount Tolmie Hospital shelter will allow guests to have rooms of their own and ensure they can continue to access the supports they need so that their journey to wellness is not interrupted.”

Portland Hotel Society’s Community Services Society will transition with the residents, and Island Health will move harm-reduction and health care services to the new site as well.

“This is yet another example of the power of partnerships and how much we can accomplish by working together,” said Victoria mayor Lisa Helps.

“I’m grateful for the continued outpouring of support for housing and providing supports for the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

Residents moving from the arena will now have their own secure rooms with doors.

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