Saturday, July 20, 2024

New partnership to provide services to Victoria’s unhoused receives $1.8M funding


Victoria has entered into an agreement with SOLID Outreach Society, a non-profit society dedicated to reducing the harms associated with poverty, drug use and houselessness through experiential support services. 

This partnership will come in the form of a new services hub located at 2155 Dowler Place. 

The City is providing SOLID with up to $1.8 million to fund the project with an additional one-time grant of $300,000. 

This funding is to come from Victoria’s Financial Stability Reserve, which is used to fund situations related to public safety and emerging demands, among other operating and emergency relief.

“Providing everyone with a pathway away from addiction and homelessness and reducing the impact it has on individuals, families and the community cannot wait,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. 

“SOLID’s peer-based approach has shown it is highly effective in working with the street community, while maintaining positive relationships with neighbours and other organizations that are key to ensuring successful programs for its service users and the surrounding community.”

The 5,264 square-foot property on Dowler Place is conveniently placed on the cusp of the North Park, Hillside Quadra and Burnside neighbourhoods and is to be owned and operated by SOLID.

People requiring SOLID’s services from this new hub will be able to have their immediate survival needs for food, harm reduction and overdose prevention services met. 

They will also benefit from health and support services and referrals as well as housing case management.

The facility will have the capacity to help up to 50 people at a time and its operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

“The priority of our staff is to make sure people are connected to the services they need in a rapid, meaningful and ongoing way – including accessing and maintaining housing, finding the right fit with treatment options and lots of ways of plugging into our community through vocational training, support groups and other daily activities,” said Mark Willson, Senior Director of Operations and Finance at SOLID. 

The Dowler Place hub will be fenced and security will be onsite, according to the City. 

In addition to these protective measures, SOLID says they will work collaboratively with City Bylaw officers, VicPD, the Victoria Fire Department and City personnel. 

The new SOLID services hub facility still requires some improvements and upgrades, but is anticipated to open in the coming months.

Curtis Blandy

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