City Approves Use of Vacant Property at 1240 Yates Street for Short-term Emergency Shelter

The City of Victoria plans to lease a vacant City property located at 1240 Yates Street to BC Housing and Our Place to operate an emergency winter shelter, for four months. 

Through the operator, Our Place, the shelter will offer 24/7 support services, storage, laundry and daily meals, to 40 people without homes, until April 30. On Friday, BC Housing announced $400,000 in funding for a new shelter. In addition, the United Way of Greater Victoria is contributing $25,000, and the City will invest up to $45,000 to upgrade the facility for its temporary use. Work is underway for the shelter to open the first week of January. 

Earlier in the fall, the City of Victoria consulted the community about how best to create shelter for those without homes. The majority of respondents to an online survey and attendees at a ‘sheltering solutions’ workshop supported expanding existing shelters, or using existing vacant buildings for temporary shelters, over expanding options for sheltering in City parks.

The City has met with school and neighbourhood representatives, and has requested a meeting with the Central Middle School Parents Advisory Committee. The School District has expressed concern about this temporary use. The City expects the shelter operator to work closely with all neighboring properties, residents, and the City, to listen to concerns, and mitigate impacts to the neighbourhood.

Community Meeting

Wednesday, December 30 at 7 p.m.
1240 Yates Street, Gymnasium
Notice of Community Meeting [PDF - 236 KB] 

This meeting will provide an opportunity for residents and neighbours to learn more about the shelter operation and share thoughts or concerns so they can be addressed. Representatives from the City of Victoria, BC Housing, and Our Place will be present.

A neighbourhood agreement and committee will be established based on the input of the neighbours and operators on how temporary shelter can be provided while minimizing impacts to the neighbourhood. 

Community members who are unable to attend the meeting are encouraged to share their ideas, concerns, questions or thoughts in writing to mayorandcouncil@victoria.ca.

The long term future of the property at 1240 Yates Street is actively being explored and is being considered as part of the redevelopment of the Victoria Fire Department Headquarters.